Update: Plant Health News (21 May 14)

Scientists have discovered the mechanism for pink bollworm resistance to Bt cotton (David Nance, USDA)
Scientists have discovered the mechanism for pink bollworm resistance to Bt cotton (David Nance, USDA)

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including the discovery of how pests develop resistance to biotech cotton, the intensification of the battle against coffee rust, and a biodiversity assessment of over 10,000 Ghanaian cocoa farms.

Click on the link to read more of the latest plant health news!
Continue reading

RIDL baffles Pink Bollworms

Pink bollworm larvae, photo by Peggy Greb, USDA Agricultural
Research Service, Bugwood.org

It was love at first sight for many pink bollworms this year, but as their eyes met across the cotton field all was not as it seemed…

Oxitec (a company based not far from the Plantwise Knowledge Bank team), have managed to genetically engineer a strain of pink bollworm (Pectinophora gossypiella) which greatly advances the already used sterile insect technique (SIT). The new strain (affectionately known as Pink Bollworm OX3402) has been genetically engineered to include bisex RIDL technology, which means that they have a RIDL gene that effectively makes them sterile (offspring cannot survive without additional dietary supplements). OX3402 also has Oxitec’s heritable fluorescent marker technology (DsRed), which allows populations of released strains to be monitored more accurately.

Continue reading