Biocontrol of the oriental armyworm, Mythimna separata, by the tachinid fly Exorista civilis is synergized by Cry1Ab protoxin

Jiang, Xingfu
Zhang, Lei
Yang, Haixia
Sappington, Thomas
Cheng, Yunxia
Luo, Li zhi
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Tritrophic interactions between Mythimna separata, its tachinid parasite Exorista civilis and the Cry1Ab were examined. Although 6th instar M. separata mortality increased with increasing Cry1Ab concentration, some tolerance was evident. Likewise, parasitization by E. civilis resulted in only 18% host mortality. However, combination of Cry1Ab and E. civilis parasitization resulted in a significant Cry1Ab dose-dependent increase in mortality over that of either alone, including a 50–56% synergistic increase in efficacy at the two concentrations tested. Pupal weight, adult emergence and lifetime fecundity of M. separata derived from larvae surviving both agents were negatively affected. The ability of E. civilis to parasitize and subsequently develop on the host was not adversely influenced by Cry1Ab. Instead, pupation rate increased significantly among host larvae fed 3.125 μg/g Cry1Ab diet. Overall, our results demonstrate that use of Cry1Ab to control M. separata not only is compatible with the use of the tachinid parasitoid, but that the two methods can act synergistically to manage this destructive pest, provide support for the safety of transgenic Cry1Ab Bt plants in China. This example of two independent pest management strategies acting synergistically against a difficult pest offers a new perspective of broad significance in striving for agricultural sustainability.


This is an article from Jiang, Xingfu, Lei Zhang, Haixia Yang, Thomas W. Sappington, Yunxia Cheng, and Li zhi Luo. "Biocontrol of the oriental armyworm, Mythimna separata, by the tachinid fly Exorista civilis is synergized by Cry1Ab protoxin." Scientific reports 6 (2016): 26873. doi: 10.1038/srep26873. Posted with permission.