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Title: Honeybee dissemination of Heliothis NPV onto cotton flowers.
Authors: Dillon, Martin
Keywords: honey bees
Bt toxin
cotton flowers
Heliothis nuclear polyhedrosis virus (HNPV)
microbial biocontrol agents
fruit structure
Issue Date: 30-Jun-2002
Publisher: CSIRO Entomology
Series/Report no.: ;CSE95C
Abstract: INGARD® Cotton varieties express Bt toxin in all plant parts except for the flowers. Because Helicoverpa moths frequently target flower buds and flowers as oviposition sites, a proportion of their neonate larvae may establish themselves on or in the flowers in a Bt-free location on the cotton plant. This may allow them to develop to a size at which they are more tolerant of Bt toxin on other plant parts. Such larvae may subsequently be capable of damaging fruiting structures and other plant parts before they are affected by the Bt toxin. Honey bees are known to visit cotton flowers, and this project set out to determine whether they may provide an efficient means of depositing HNPV (Heliothis nuclear polyhedrosis virus) propagules directly into cotton flowers, and thereby help to eliminate an otherwise safe haven on INGARD® plants. Honey bee hives can be readily modified to disseminate virus or other microbial biocontrol agents, and the hives are easily transported to required areas. Honey bees from such hives have been shown to successfully act as vectors of HNPV against Helicoverpa zea on Crimson Clover Flowers (Gross et al. 1994), and as vectors of Bt for control of Banded Sunflower Moth on Sunflowers (Jyoti and Brewer 1999). Results from both these studies were impressive. For example mortality of H.zea larvae, when fed crimson clover flowers that had been visited by bees, increased from 12% in Control fields to over 80% in fields treated with HNPV (Gross et al. 1994).
Appears in Collections:2002 Final Reports

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