High genetic variability for resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis toxins in a single population of diamondback moth

Appl Environ Microbiol. 2001 Nov;67(11):5043-8. doi: 10.1128/AEM.67.11.5043-5048.2001.


The long-term benefit of insecticidal products based on Cry toxins, either in sprays or as transgenic crops, is threatened by the development of resistance by target pests. The models used to predict evolution of resistance to Cry toxins most often are monogenic models in which two alleles are used. Moreover, the high-dose/refuge strategy recommended for implementation with transgenic crops relies on the assumption that the resistance allele is recessive. Using selection experiments, we demonstrated the occurrence in a laboratory colony of diamondback moth of two different genes (either allelic or nonallelic) that confer resistance to Cry1Ab. At the concentration tested, resistance was dominant in one selection line and partially recessive in the other. Resistant insects from the two selection lines also differed in their cross-resistance patterns. The diamondback moth colony was derived from a field population from the Philippines, which originally showed a different resistance phenotype. This is the first time that an insect population has been directly shown to carry more than one gene conferring resistance to the same Cry toxin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacillus thuringiensis / metabolism
  • Bacterial Proteins / toxicity*
  • Bacterial Toxins*
  • Endotoxins / toxicity*
  • Genes, Insect
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Hemolysin Proteins
  • Insecticide Resistance / genetics*
  • Moths / drug effects*
  • Moths / genetics*
  • Moths / physiology
  • Pest Control, Biological*
  • Selection, Genetic


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Bacterial Toxins
  • Endotoxins
  • Hemolysin Proteins
  • insecticidal crystal protein, Bacillus Thuringiensis