Elimination of a Recessive Allele Conferring Resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis from a Heterogeneous Strain of Diamondback Moth (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae)

Yong Biao Liu, Bruce E. Tabashnik

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


We devised and tested a procedure for eliminating a recessive allele conferring resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki from a laboratory strain of diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (L.), composed of resistant and susceptible individuals. We established a homozygous susceptible strain (LAB-PS) from a heterogeneous strain (LAB-P) as follows: We obtained F1 progeny from 7 single-pair families from the heterogeneous strain. Hybrid F2 progeny were produced in 7 mass crosses, each of which involved 10 female F1 progeny from a single-pair family and 10 males from a resistant strain (NO-QA). The hybrid F2 progeny were tested in bioassays with a liquid formulation of B. thuringiensis toxin Cry1Ab at a diagnostic concentration that kills susceptible homozygotes and heterozygotes, but not resistant homozygotes. If the resistance allele occurred in either of the 2 parents that produced a particular F1 family, the hybrid F2 progeny derived from that family were expected to contain at least 25% homozygous resistant individuals that would survive exposure to the diagnostic concentration of Cry1Ab. Conversely, 0% survival of a set of hybrid F2 progeny in the diagnostic bioassay would indicate that the single-pair family from which it was derived was homozygous susceptible. We found 0% survival in 1 set of hybrid F2 progeny and used the F1 single-pair family from which this set was derived to establish a homozygous susceptible strain. Subsequent bioassays showed that diagnostic concentrations of Cry1Ab or Cry1Aa killed 100% of larvae tested from this strain. The LC50 of Cry1Ab at 5 d for the susceptible strain was 7-fold lower than that for the heterogeneous strain. The procedure can be adapted for other insects and other traits, such as resistance to other insecticides.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1032-1037
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of economic entomology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1998


  • Bacillus thuringiensis
  • Plutella xylostella
  • Resistance
  • Selection for susceptibility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Insect Science


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