The new finding is that one or a few genes account for resistance
observed in the lab, and that the gene is "incompletely dominant autosomal."
Heretofore, most people thought the gene was recessive; the high
dose/refugia resistance management strategy depends upon this gene being
recessive. The author's state that if their finding holds, there will be
need to rethink ECB resistance management plans.
BTW, this is a good example of the scientific surprises that can be
expected as we move into the ag biotech era. This is part because genetic
changes unleashed across millions of acres (or in a backyard) can cause so
many horrendously complex secondary and tertiary responses in ecosystems,
and secondarily because the science has not been done -- Ann Clark's point
that there has been a systematic effort to NOT look under certain rocks.
Wouldn't one think that the genetics of resistance in the ECB would be a
subject of serious analysis well before 20 million acres are being planted
in the U.S. corn belt. But clearly it was not; it is my sense (someone
correct me if I am wrong) that the work these scientists did could have been
done before had the funding and commitment been present to look under that rock.
For the non-geneticists among us, would someone please post a
lay-person's explanation of what an "incompletely dominant autosomal gene"
is; along with an explanation of why this matters so much in designing a
resistance management strategy. If someone would be willing to talk me
through it, I'll write it up for the list.
Another relatively urgent request -- I am working on an assessment
of the ECB Bt-corn resistance management plan that is under EPA review now.
I, and others, need very quick help on a key issue. What insects spend some
time in corn fields, and might develop resistance to Bt, that in other
life-stages spend time in fruit and vegetable crops where growers are now
largely reliant on foliar Bts for Lepidopteran control? If you know of
people who have thought about this and could help create a list, and provide
some sense of the potential for insect migration carrying resistance genes
into other regions, please be in touch. I am willing to provide a modest
level of $$ for anyone that can turn something out quickly (i.e. about 2
weeks). I will also eventually share what we learn with the list. So you
bug-flow experts out there, please be in touch.
Charles Benbrook 208-263-5236 (voice)
Benbrook Consulting Services 208-263-7342 (fax)
5085 Upper Pack River Road email@example.com [e-mail]
Sandpoint, Idaho 83864 http://www.pmac.net
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