Brazilian scientists develop pest control technology for GM crops
Brazilian scientists have developed a technology to reduce the capability of pests to develop resistance to genetically-modified (GM) crops that contain the insecticidal bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt.)
This development is significant for Filipino farmers who have already planted Bt corn in 800,000 hectares of land.
It is also crucial for the cultivation of soya, which is a basis feed ingredient for for the poultry industry in the Philippines.
In report dated February 20, 2018 and carried by ScienceDaily, the Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo said Brazilian researchers were able to determine the pattern of pest dispersal among crops and noted that pests tend to stay longer in rows of non-GM crops called refuges.
By having bigger refuges of non-Bt crops, the pests are lured to stay longer rather than prey on Bt crops and develop resistance to them in the long run.
In their study entitled “Larval Dispersal of Spodoptera frugiperda Strains on Bt Cotton: A Model for Understanding Resistance Evolution and Consequences for its Management,” José B. Malaquias, Wesley A. C. Godoy, Adriano G. Garcia, Francisco de S. Ramalho and Celso Omoto reported in Scientific Reports that they focused their work on the Fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda), a lepidopteran pest that feeds on leaves and stems of as many as 100 plant species.
It can feed on different crops and cause serious damage since it is resistant to both insecticides and GM crops genetically engineered to express proteins with insecticidal action obtained from Bt.