Spatio-temporal variation in landscape composition may speed resistance evolution of pests to Bt crops

Ives, Anthony R., Paull, Cate, Hulthen, Andrew, Downes, Sharon, Andow, David A., Haygood, Ralph, Zalucki, Myron P. and Schellhorn, Nancy A. (2017) Spatio-temporal variation in landscape composition may speed resistance evolution of pests to Bt crops. PLoS ONE, 12 1: . doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0169167

Author Ives, Anthony R.
Paull, Cate
Hulthen, Andrew
Downes, Sharon
Andow, David A.
Haygood, Ralph
Zalucki, Myron P.
Schellhorn, Nancy A.
Title Spatio-temporal variation in landscape composition may speed resistance evolution of pests to Bt crops
Journal name PLoS ONE   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1932-6203
Publication date 2017-01-03
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0169167
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 12
Issue 1
Total pages 20
Place of publication San Francisco, CA, United States
Publisher Public Library of Science
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Transgenic crops that express insecticide genes from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) are used worldwide against moth and beetle pests. Because these engineered plants can kill over 95% of susceptible larvae, they can rapidly select for resistance. Here, we use a model for a pyramid two-toxin Bt crop to explore the consequences of spatio-temporal variation in the area of Bt crop and non-Bt refuge habitat. We show that variability over time in the proportion of suitable non-Bt breeding habitat, Q, or in the total area of Bt and suitable non-Bt habitat, K, can increase the overall rate of resistance evolution by causing short-term surges of intense selection. These surges can be exacerbated when temporal variation in Q and/or K cause high larval densities in refuges that increase density-dependent mortality; this will give resistant larvae in Bt fields a relative advantage over susceptible larvae that largely depend on refuges. We address the effects of spatio-temporal variation in a management setting for two bollworm pests of cotton, Helicoverpa armigera and H. punctigera, and field data on landscape crop distributions from Australia. Even a small proportion of Bt fields available to egg-laying females when refuges are sparse may result in high exposure to Bt for just a single generation per year and cause a surge in selection. Therefore, rapid resistance evolution can occur when Bt crops are rare rather than common in the landscape. These results highlight the need to understand spatio-temporal fluctuations in the landscape composition of Bt crops and non-Bt habitats in order to design effective resistance management strategies.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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School of Biological Sciences Publications
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