Data from: Climate change, transgenic corn adoption and field-evolved resistance in corn earworm
Venugopal, P. Dilip; Dively, Galen P. (2017), Data from: Climate change, transgenic corn adoption and field-evolved resistance in corn earworm, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.q9d78
Increased temperature anomaly during the twenty-first century coincides with the proliferation of transgenic crops containing the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Berliner) (Bt) to express insecticidal Cry proteins. Increasing temperatures profoundly affect insect life histories and agricultural pest management. However, the implications of climate change on Bt crop–pest interactions and insect resistance to Bt crops remains unexamined. We analysed the relationship of temperature anomaly and Bt adoption with field-evolved resistance to Cry1Ab Bt sweet corn in a major pest, Helicoverpa zea (Boddie). Increased Bt adoption during 1996–2016 suppressed H. zea populations, but increased temperature anomaly buffers population reduction. Temperature anomaly and its interaction with elevated selection pressure from high Bt acreage probably accelerated the Bt-resistance development. Helicoverpa zea damage to corn ears, kernel area consumed, mean instars and proportion of late instars in Bt varieties increased with Bt adoption and temperature anomaly, through additive or interactive effects. Risk of Bt-resistant H. zea spreading is high given extensive Bt adoption, and the expected increase in overwintering and migration. Our study highlights the challenges posed by climate change for Bt biotechnology-based agricultural pest management, and the need to incorporate evolutionary processes affected by climate change into Bt-resistance management programmes.