We created a deterministic, frequency-based model of the evolution of resistance by corn earworm, Helicoverpa zea (Boddie) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), to insecticidal traits expressed in crops planted in the heterogeneous landscapes of the southern United States. The model accounts for four generations of selection by insecticidal traits each year. We used the model results to investigate the influence of three factors on insect resistance management (IRM): 1) how does adding a third insecticidal trait to both corn and cotton affect durability of the products, 2) how does unstructured corn refuge influence IRM, and 3) how do block refuges (50% compliance) and blended refuges compare with regard to IRM? When Bt cotton expresses the same number of insecticidal traits, Bt corn with three insecticidal traits provides longer durability than Bt corn with two pyramided traits. Blended refuge provides similar durability for corn products compared with the same level of required block refuge when the rate of refuge compliance by farmers is 50%. Results for Mississippi and Texas are similar, but durabilities for corn traits are surprisingly lower in Georgia, where unstructured corn refuge is the highest of the three states, but refuge for Bt cotton is the lowest of the three states. Thus, unstructured corn refuge can be valuable for IRM but its influence is determined by selection for resistance by Bt cotton.
- corn earworm
- insect resistance management