Evaluating Cross-resistance between Vip and Cry Toxins of Bacillus thuringiensis

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47 Scopus citations


Crops genetically engineered to produce insecticidal proteins from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) have revolutionized control of some major pests. Some recently introduced Bt crops make Vip3Aa, a vegetative insecticidal protein (Vip), which reportedly does not share binding sites or structural homology with the crystalline (Cry) proteins of Bt used widely in transgenic crops for more than two decades. Field-evolved resistance to Bt crops with practical consequences for pest control includes 21 cases that collectively reduce the efficacy of nine Cry proteins, but such practical resistance has not been reported yet for any Vip. Here, we review previously published data to evaluate cross-resistance between Vip and Cry toxins. We analyzed 31 cases based on 48 observations, with each case based on one to five observations assessing cross-resistance from pairwise comparisons between 21 resistant strains and 13 related susceptible strains of eight species of lepidopteran pests. Confirming results from previous analyses of smaller data sets, we found weak, statistically significant cross-resistance between Vip3 and Cry1 toxins, with a mean of 1.5-fold cross-resistance in 21 cases (range: 0.30-4.6-fold). Conversely, we did not detect significant positive cross-resistance between Vip3 toxins and Cry2Ab. Distinguishing between weak, significant cross-resistance, and no cross-resistance may be useful for better understanding mechanisms of resistance and effectively managing pest resistance to Bt crops.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)553-561
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of economic entomology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 6 2020


  • genetically engineered crop
  • resistance management
  • sustainability
  • vegetative insecticidal protein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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