In The Conversation, entomology professor, Dr. Scott Stewart, discusses the invasive species, fall armyworms and control measures. The fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda, is an annual problem and has been invading lawns and fields across the United States. These species destroy lawns by feeding and chewing holes in leaves. To the eyes of many, these fall armyworms come across as worms. However, the fall army worm is a striped caterpillar. In the Summer, the entire lifecycle of the worm is about 30 days and twice the amount of days in the Fall and Spring. To read the full article, please click here.
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During the past 22 years, pest control efficacy and the potential for higher net returns have driven a global increase in the adoption of transgenic crops which produce insecticidal proteins (Cry and Vip toxins) from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt crops). In the US alone, Bt corn and cotton adoption represent >80% of the national acreage devoted to the two commodities, which has unfortunately led to increasing selection pressure for evolution of Bt toxin resistant insect pests. One such devastating pest is the fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) which has become a growing threat to the use of transgenic corn technology in the Western Hemisphere and more recently the African continent. The fall armyworm is the insect pest with the highest
UTIA Professor Juan Jurat-Fuentes and colleagues publish results of a study in Scientific Reports that demonstrates the mechanism of field-evolved resistance to transgenic Bt corn in fall armyworm. Click here to read full article.