Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

The effect of resistance to Bt corn on the reproductive output of Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae).

Abstract

The fall armyworm (FAW) Spodoptera frugiperda is the most significant lepidopteran corn pest in South American countries. Transgenic Bt corn, producing the Cry1Fa toxins, has been used to control this pest, but there is clear evidence that some FAW populations have developed resistance. To determine if there are costs associated with resistance, we compared the mass of adults, the duration of mating, and the mass of the first spermatophore produced, as well as the lifetime fecundity and fertility of once-mated susceptible (SS) and resistant (RR) females. Adult mass was affected by both sex and strain, with SS females being significantly larger than RR ones, while the inverse was true for males. RR pairs took significantly longer to mate than SS pairs, yet the mass of spermatophores produced by RR males was significantly less than those of SS males. The total number of eggs laid did not differ but the fertility of eggs from once-mated RR pairs was significantly lower than that of SS pairs. Our data provided clear evidence that the development of Bt resistance affected the reproductive capacity of resistant FAW.