Monitoring and adaptive resistance management

D. A. Andow, A. R. Ives

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


An adaptive management strategy can be used to hedge against failures in the scientific assumptions underlying the high-dose plus refuge strategy for managing the resistance of the European corn borer to Bt corn. This will require sensitive monitoring coupled with effective adaptive management interventions. Using a theoretical model, we suggest that recessive resistance alleles must be detected at frequencies of ≤5 × 10-3 to provide enough time to adapt management. Analysis of the costs of monitoring indicates that an F2 screen is the most cost effective method for monitoring recessive resistance to Bt corn. If resistance is dominant, an in-field screen is the most cost effective method. Both methods can detect and measure resistance at frequencies of ≤5 × 10-3 for ∼$5000 (U.S. dollars) per site. Two kinds of adaptive responses can be taken: (1) reducing the selective advantage of the resistance allele or (2) modifying the mating system so fewer resistance alleles are passed on to future generations. Assuming there is a two-year time delay between detecting resistance and taking an adaptive response, we found that either increasing refuge size to 66% (from 20%), or decreasing survival and reproduction of European corn borers from Bt corn fields by 90% can prolong susceptibility by 10 generations. Modification of the mating system by changing movement rates and attracting susceptible males into Bt corn fields could prolong susceptibility for >20 generations. These results suggest that adaptive resistance management could increase the durability of Bt corn.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1378-1390
Number of pages13
JournalEcological Applications
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2002


  • Adaptive management
  • Bt corn
  • European corn borer
  • Monitoring
  • Ostrinia nubilalis
  • Resistance management


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