Efficacy of a cry1Ab Gene for Control of Maruca vitrata (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) in Cowpea (Fabales: Fabaceae)

Peairs, F and Pittendrigh, B R and Hellmich, R L and Higgins, T J V and Beach, L R and Huesing, J E and Nemeth, M A and Onyekachi, F N and Adazebra, G A and Umar, M L and Saba, M and Traore, F and Dabiré-Binso, C L and Abudulai, M and Atokple, I D K and Bationo, J B and Ba, M N and Tignegre, J B and Ishiyaku, M F and Addae, P C (2020) Efficacy of a cry1Ab Gene for Control of Maruca vitrata (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) in Cowpea (Fabales: Fabaceae). Journal of Economic Entomology (TSI), 113 (2). pp. 974-979. ISSN 0022-0493

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Cowpea [Vigna unguiculata (L) Walp.] is an important staple legume in the diet of many households in sub-Saharan Africa. Its production, however, is negatively impacted by many insect pests including bean pod borer, Maruca vitrata F., which can cause 20–80% yield loss. Several genetically engineered cowpea events that contain a cry1Ab gene from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) for resistance against M. vitrata were evaluated in Nigeria, Burkina Faso, and Ghana (West Africa), where cowpea is commonly grown. As part of the regulatory safety package, these efficacy data were developed and evaluated by in-country scientists. The Bt-cowpea lines were planted in confined field trials under Insect-proof netting and artificially infested with up to 500 M. vitrata larvae per plant during bud formation and flowering periods. Bt-cowpea lines provided nearly complete pod and seed protection and in most cases resulted in significantly increased seed yield over non-Bt control lines. An integrated pest management strategy that includes use of Bt-cowpea augmented with minimal insecticide treatment for protection against other insects is recommended to control pod borer to enhance cowpea production. The insect resistance management plan is based on the high-dose refuge strategy where non-Btcowpea and natural refuges are expected to provide M. vitrata susceptible to Cry1Ab protein. In addition, there will be a limited release of this product until a two-toxin cowpea pyramid is released. Other than South African genetically engineered crops, Bt-cowpea is the first genetically engineered food crop developed by the public sector and approved for release in sub-Saharan Africa.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Research Program : West & Central Africa
Uncontrolled Keywords: Transgenic, Genetically engineered Bt-cowpea, West Africa
Subjects: Others > Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
Others > Cowpea
Others > Legume Crops
Others > West Africa
Depositing User: Mr Arun S
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2021 16:32
Last Modified: 02 Mar 2021 16:33
URI: http://oar.icrisat.org/id/eprint/11722
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1093/jee/toz367
Acknowledgement: The authors are thankful to the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) for coordinating and providing funding for the pod-borer resistant cowpea (PBRC) project. The authors also are thankful to the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO, R-04676- 01), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID, AID-OAA-A-14-00035), the Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR), Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) and National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) in Nigeria, Institut de l’Environnement et de Recherches Agricoles (INERA) in Burkina Faso, and the Savanna Agricultural Research Institute (SARI) in Ghana for providing funds and support for the PBRC project. Monsanto (now Bayer) donated the Bt gene royalty-free for use in the project; Program for Biosafety Systems (PBS) provided regulatory advice; and Kirkhouse Trust provided the marker assisted selection technology. We are also grateful to Purdue University, Rockefeller Foundation, the Network for the Genetic Improvement of Cowpea for Africa (NGICA), Danforth Foundation, and International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). We are thankful for the contributions to this project that were made by Jeremy T. Ouedraogo, and Eugene Terry. We are especially grateful to Larry Murdock for his initiation of many collaborations that led to this success. Finally, we are grateful to Hamza Adamu at IAR, Herve Bama at INERA, and Ahmed Seidu at SARI, for their field technical assistance. The authors have not declared any conflict of interests.
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