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Efficiency of biological control for fall armyworm resistant to the protein Cry1F

Understanding the ecological and toxicological relationship between genetically modified cultivars (GM) and biological control agents is of great importance for discussions related to the compatability of GM cultivars and integrated management strategies for pest resistance. The present study evaluated the search behavior and predatory capacity of Orius insidiosus (Say) (Hemiptera: Anthocoridae) and Doru luteipes (Scudder) (Dermaptera: Forficulidae) on eggs and caterpillars of Spodoptera frugiperda (J. E. Smith) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) resistant or not to the protein Cry1F expressed in Bt corn. To determine the search time, a stopwatch was run until the capture of the first prey, predation capacity was evaluated by counting the prey remaining after 24 hours of infestation. The injuries of S. frugiperda in genetically modified and conventional corn in the presence and absence of predators was also evaluated. The predators were not able to distinguish between resistant and susceptible prey (eggs or caterpillars), given the predatory behaviour observed. There was no difference in searching time or predatory capacity between the predators for eggs and caterpillars of either resistant or susceptible S. frugiperda. In the presence of predators, the injury scores for resistant S. frugiperdaon the Bt corn plants were lower. It was concluded that O. insidiosus and D. luteipes did not notice the presence of the protein Cry1F in the prey S. frugiperda, which may facilitate the combined use of GM corn and biological control in integrated management programs and for management of pest resistance.

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