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Science & Technology

Insects evolving resistance to GM crops

By T.K. Randall
June 11, 2013 · Comment icon 5 comments

Image Credit: sxc.hu
Several species of insects have adapted to deal with crops genetically engineered to produce insecticide.
Five out of the thirteen most prominent crop pests appear to have developed immunity to the genetically engineered alterations, leading to valuable new data for scientists attempting to keep ahead of the game. A combination of factors including more widespread use of the GM crops and greater exposure of insects to pesticides have been attributed to the increase in adaptation.

One of the common techniques used to decrease the chance that insects will adapt is to plant a "refuge" of non-GM crops on land opposite the GM fields. Immune insects will then be more likely to mate with non-immune insects in the non-GM crop, resulting in offspring that are themselves susceptible to the insecticide.
Five of 13 major crop pests have evolved resistance to corn and cotton genetically engineered to make their own insecticide, providing lessons for extending the usefulness of such technologies, University of Arizona researchers said in a study.


Source: Bloomberg | Comments (5)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by freetoroam 11 years ago
Very interesting, but for sure not news. Am surprised its only 5.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Insanity 11 years ago
No, nothing really new or surprising.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Hilander 11 years ago
Can't say it surprises me give them time and they all will become resistant to these crops. Many weeds have become resistant to roundup. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/04/business/energy-environment/04weed.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
Comment icon #4 Posted by Wickian 11 years ago
It makes you wonder if you could place fast breeding insects inside a containment area that changes between two states of atmosphere pressure(a low and high) and have them develop a tolerance for near vacuum conditions in enough generations.
Comment icon #5 Posted by SewerRat 11 years ago
Wow yes ... develop strains of pests that can exist in near vacuum and send them to the Red Planet on the next Rover mission. That way the bugs will be ahead of the game before we start terraforming, planting opium and hemp. So many great things are to be gleaned from GM technology.


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