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General Information

Document type
  • Perspective
GE organism
  • Cotton
GE trait
  • insect resistance
  • Venezuela
  • UK


Safety for environment
  • mixed

Could resistance to transgenic plants produce a new species of insect pest?

Cerda, H; Wright, DJ
Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment. 2002 September. 91(3-Jan):3-Jan

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DOI: 10.1016/S0167-8809(01)00257-2 ISSN: 0167-8809


Recent studies have shown developmental asynchrony between Bacillus thuringiensis resistant and susceptible strains to occur in two insect species, the pink bollworm (Pectinophora gossypella) and the diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella). With the widespread planting of B. thuringiensis transgenic crops, individuals of many pest species will be exposed to intense and continuous selection pressure. In species with such ecological adaptation to B. thuringiensis, developmental asynchrony, low movement between refugia and B. thuringiensis transgenic crops and hence assortative mating among resistant insects could lead directly to reproductive isolation. However, the relationship between resistance selection, time of resistance to B. thuringiensis and developmental time is likely to be complex and non-linear. Local, temporal and spatial factors may have a strong influence on the development of a speciation process. Whether a transgenic crop can maintain divergent selective conditions long enough for complete reproductive isolation to develop under field conditions remains to be seen.


B. thuringiensis; Transgenic crops; Sympatric speciation; Plutella xylostella; Pectinophora gossypella; Agroecosystem


Funding source
  • CONICIT Venezuela
Funding country
  • Venezuela
Funding type
  • government

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Cite this study


Cerda, H, DJ Wright. "Could resistance to transgenic plants produce a new species of insect pest?." Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 91.3-Jan (2002): 3-Jan. Web. 22 Jun. 2024.


Cerda, H., & Wright, DJ. (2002). Could resistance to transgenic plants produce a new species of insect pest?. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 91(3-Jan), 3-Jan. doi:10.1016/S0167-8809(01)00257-2

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