Variation in tolerance to Bacillus thuringiensis among and within populations of the spruce budworm (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) in Ontario.

K. van Frankenhuyzen, C. W. Nystrom, B. E. Tabashnik

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Variation in tolerance to Bacillus thuringiensis Berliner subsp. kurstaki (strain HD-1-S-1980) among and within populations of the spruce budworm, Choristoneura fumiferana (Clemens), was assessed in the laboratory. Force-feeding assays using offspring of females collected as pupae from nine locations throughout Ontario and from a laboratory colony (DCF) demonstrated limited variation in tolerance among populations. Variation among populations was comparable with the variation observed among repeated assays with different batches of larvae from the DCF colony. Population LC50s were not significantly associated with age of the outbreak, host-plant species, incidence of the microsporidian Nosema fumiferanae (Thomson), or size of the female parent. Upper limits for genetic variation in tolerance were estimated by examining variation among full-sibling families within same populations. Mortality of individual families ranged from 6.5 to 70.9% within five field populations and from 2.7 to 93.3% within two laboratory colonies in response to a dose that caused a mean mortality of 40%. Familial factors accounted for 32.8% of the phenotypic variation in response across field populations, as compared with 3% for population factors. These data suggest that the phenotypic variation in tolerance to B. thuringiensis has a substantial genetic component and may provide a basis for evolution of resistance given sufficient selection pressure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-105
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of economic entomology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1995
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Insect Science

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