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Field Performance of Transgenic Tomato Plants Expressing the Bacillus Thuringiensis Var. Kurstaki Insect Control Protein


Transgenic tomato plants expressing a lepidopteran-specific insect control protein from Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki HD-1 (B.t.k.) were field tested in 1987 and 1988 to evaluate their efficacy under normal field conditions. When infested with eggs of the tobacco hornworm (Manduca sexta), the transgenic plants showed only very limited feeding damage on the leaves near the inoculated sites soon after the larvae hatched, and sustained no further damage. In contrast, nontransgenic control plants suffered heavy feeding damage and were almost completely defoliated within two weeks. Significant control of tomato fruitworm (Heliothis zea) and tomato pinworm (Keiferia lycopersicella) was also observed. These results demonstrate that transgenic tomato plants containing a gene encoding a B.t.k. protein can provide control of lepidopteran insect pests under field conditions.

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Delannay, X., LaVallee, B., Proksch, R. et al. Field Performance of Transgenic Tomato Plants Expressing the Bacillus Thuringiensis Var. Kurstaki Insect Control Protein. Nat Biotechnol 7, 1265–1269 (1989).

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