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      Surge in insect resistance to transgenic crops and prospects for sustainability

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      Nature Biotechnology
      Springer Nature

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          Most cited references81

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          Widespread adoption of Bt cotton and insecticide decrease promotes biocontrol services.

          Over the past 16 years, vast plantings of transgenic crops producing insecticidal proteins from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) have helped to control several major insect pests and reduce the need for insecticide sprays. Because broad-spectrum insecticides kill arthropod natural enemies that provide biological control of pests, the decrease in use of insecticide sprays associated with Bt crops could enhance biocontrol services. However, this hypothesis has not been tested in terms of long-term landscape-level impacts. On the basis of data from 1990 to 2010 at 36 sites in six provinces of northern China, we show here a marked increase in abundance of three types of generalist arthropod predators (ladybirds, lacewings and spiders) and a decreased abundance of aphid pests associated with widespread adoption of Bt cotton and reduced insecticide sprays in this crop. We also found evidence that the predators might provide additional biocontrol services spilling over from Bt cotton fields onto neighbouring crops (maize, peanut and soybean). Our work extends results from general studies evaluating ecological effects of Bt crops by demonstrating that such crops can promote biocontrol services in agricultural landscapes.
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            Sustainability of transgenic insecticidal cultivars: integrating pest genetics and ecology.

            F. Gould (1998)
            This review examines potential impacts of transgenic cultivars on insect population dynamics and evolution. Experience with classically bred, insecticidal cultivars has demonstrated that a solid understanding of both the target insect's ecology and the cultivar's performance under varied field conditions will be essential for predicting area-wide effects of transgenic cultivars on pest and natural enemy dynamics. This experience has also demonstrated the evolutionary capacity of pests for adaptive response to insecticidal traits in crops. Biochemical and genetic studies of insect adaptation to the Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxins expressed by currently marketed transgenic cultivars indicate a high risk for rapid adaptation if these cultivars are misused. Theoretical and practical issues involved in implementing strategies to delay pest adaptation to insecticidal cultivars are reviewed. Emphasis is placed on examining the "high dose"/refuge strategy that has become the goal of industry and regulatory authorities.
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              Is Open Access

              Characterizing the Mechanism of Action of Double-Stranded RNA Activity against Western Corn Rootworm (Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte)

              RNA interference (RNAi) has previously been shown to be effective in western corn rootworm (WCR, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte) larvae via oral delivery of synthetic double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) in an artificial diet bioassay, as well as by ingestion of transgenic corn plant tissues engineered to express dsRNA. Although the RNAi machinery components appear to be conserved in Coleopteran insects, the key steps in this process have not been reported for WCR. Here we characterized the sequence of events that result in mortality after ingestion of a dsRNA designed against WCR larvae. We selected the Snf7 ortholog (DvSnf7) as the target mRNA, which encodes an essential protein involved in intracellular trafficking. Our results showed that dsRNAs greater than or equal to approximately 60 base-pairs (bp) are required for biological activity in artificial diet bioassays. Additionally, 240 bp dsRNAs containing a single 21 bp match to the target sequence were also efficacious, whereas 21 bp short interfering (si) RNAs matching the target sequence were not. This result was further investigated in WCR midgut tissues: uptake of 240 bp dsRNA was evident in WCR midgut cells while a 21 bp siRNA was not, supporting the size-activity relationship established in diet bioassays. DvSnf7 suppression was observed in a time-dependent manner with suppression at the mRNA level preceding suppression at the protein level when a 240 bp dsRNA was fed to WCR larvae. DvSnf7 suppression was shown to spread to tissues beyond the midgut within 24 h after dsRNA ingestion. These events (dsRNA uptake, target mRNA and protein suppression, systemic spreading, growth inhibition and eventual mortality) comprise the overall mechanism of action by which DvSnf7 dsRNA affects WCR via oral delivery and provides insights as to how targeted dsRNAs in general are active against insects.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature Biotechnology
                Nat Biotechnol
                Springer Nature
                1087-0156
                1546-1696
                October 11 2017
                October 11 2017
                : 35
                : 10
                : 926-935
                Article
                10.1038/nbt.3974
                29020006
                ac0f3634-e908-4acf-aed8-90daad7f3537
                © 2017
                History

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