Population Genomics of Nonrecessive Resistance to Bt Toxin Cry1Ac in Helicoverpa armigera From Northern China

Fang Guan, Xiaoguang Dai, Yihua Yang, Bruce E. Tabashnik, Yidong Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Transgenic crops that produce insecticidal proteins from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) have provided control of some key pests since 1996. However, the evolution of resistance by pests reduces the benefits of Bt crops. Resistance to Bt crops that is not recessively inherited is especially challenging to manage. Here we analyzed nonrecessive resistance to Bt toxin Cry1Ac in eight field populations of Helicoverpa armigera sampled in 2018 from northern China, where this global pest has been exposed to Cry1Ac in Bt cotton since 1997. Bioassays revealed 7.5% of field-derived larvae were resistant to Cry1Ac of which 87% had at least one allele conferring nonrecessive resistance. To analyze this nonrecessive resistance, we developed and applied a variant of a genomic mapping approach called quantitative trait locus (QTL)-seq. This analysis identified a region on chromosome 10 associated with nonrecessive resistance to Cry1Ac in all 21 backcross families derived from field-collected moths. Individual sequencing revealed that all 21 field-collected resistant grandparents of the backcross families had a previously identified dominant point mutation in the tetraspanin gene HaTSPAN1 that occurs in the region of chromosome 10 identified by QTL-seq. QTL-seq also revealed a region on chromosome 26 associated with nonrecessive resistance in at most 14% of the backcross families. Overall, the results imply the point mutation in HaTSPAN1 is the primary genetic basis of nonrecessive resistance to Cry1Ac in field populations of H. armigera from northern China. Moreover, because nonrecessive resistance is predominant, tracking the frequency of this point mutation could facilitate resistance monitoring in the region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)310-320
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of economic entomology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 24 2023


  • Bt resistance
  • cotton bollworm
  • genetic mapping
  • tetraspanin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Insect Science


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