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Journal of Arid Land  2020, Vol. 12 Issue (2): 349-356    DOI: 10.1007/s40333-020-0063-0
Does cotton bollworm show cross-resistance to the Bacillus thuringiensis toxins Cry1Ac and Cry2Ab? A mini review
MA Jihong1,2,3, TIAN Changyan1,*(), LYU Guanghui3, MAI Wenxuan1
1 State Key Laboratory of Desert and Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi 830011, China
2 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
3 College of Resources and Environment Science, Xinjiang University, Urumqi 830046, China
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Since 1996, transgenic Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) cotton has been commercially grown in numerous countries in an effort to stem the losses caused by key lepidopteran pests. However, the development of pest resistance to Bt toxins has jeopardized the continued utilization of Bt cotton. As a strategy designed to circumvent the development of resistance, Bt cotton varieties expressing two or more toxins targeting the same pest have been introduced. Nevertheless, from the perspective of long-term planting of Bt cotton, the potential risk of cross-resistance to these Bt toxins is a threat that cannot be ignored. In this paper, we review current research (including that based on the analysis of protein binding sites and resistance genes) on the resistance of cotton bollworm (Helicoverpa armigera) to the Bt toxins Cry1Ac and Cry2Ab and the interrelationship between these toxins. On the basis of existing evidence, we assume that the actions of Cry1Ac and Cry2Ab against cotton bollworm are not completely independent, and then propose the ''resistance-associated gene mutation potential hypothesis''. Although the mechanisms underlying the resistance of pests to Bt toxins are yet to be comprehensively elucidated, this hypothesis could undoubtedly have important implications for adopting ''pyramid'' strategy in the future. Further research is recommended to devise strategies to retard the development of H. armigera resistance to Bt cotton, either using different Bt toxins or their various combinations.

Key wordscross-resistance      genetically modified cotton      cotton bollworm      Bacillus thuringiensis      Cry1Ac      Cry2Ab     
Received: 21 May 2019      Published: 10 March 2020
Corresponding Authors: Changyan TIAN     E-mail:
About author: *Corresponding author: TIAN Changyan (E-mail:
Cite this article:

MA Jihong, TIAN Changyan, LYU Guanghui, MAI Wenxuan. Does cotton bollworm show cross-resistance to the Bacillus thuringiensis toxins Cry1Ac and Cry2Ab? A mini review. Journal of Arid Land, 2020, 12(2): 349-356.

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