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Managing maize under pest species competition: is Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) maize the solution?

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Francisco ArealORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Transgenic crops that contain Cry genes from Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) have been adopted byfarmers over the last 17 yr. Unlike traditional broad-spectrumchemical insecticides, Bt’s toxicity spectrum isrelatively narrow and selective, which may indirectly benefit secondary insects that may become importantpests. The economic damage caused by the rise of secondary pests could offset some or all of the benefits associatedwith the use of Bt varieties. We develop a bioeconomic model to analyze the interactions betweenprimary and secondary insect populations and the impact of different management options on insecticideuse and economic impact over time. Results indicate that some of the benefits associated with the adoptionof genetically engineered insect resistant crops may be eroded when taking into account ecological dynamics.It is suggested that secondary pests could easily become key insect pests requiring additional measures,such as insecticide applications or stacked traits, to keep their populations under the economic threshold.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Catarino R, Ceddia G, Areal F, Parisey N, Park J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Ecosphere

Year: 2016

Volume: 7

Issue: 6

Print publication date: 01/06/2016

Online publication date: 10/06/2016

Acceptance date: 08/09/2015

Date deposited: 10/05/2019

ISSN (electronic): 2150-8925

Publisher: Ecological Society of America


DOI: 10.1002/ecs2.1340


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