To Bt or Not to Bt? Balancing Spatial Genetic Heterogeneity to Control the Evolution of Ostrinia nubilalis
Genetically modified corn crops have been developed to reduce the impact of potentially devastating agricultural pests such as the European Corn Borer, (Ostrinia nubilalis). Continuous exposure to Bt toxins in genetically modified corn results in the increased prevalence of European Corn Borers that are resistant to these toxins. In this article, we first analyze the evolution of resistance in a uniform environment using a system of nonlinear difference equations. The evolution of resistance is then simulated in spatially explicit environments based on the biology of the insect and using parameters found in the literature. The optimum initial conditions and various stripe patterns on a cornfield that will minimize the evolution of a resistant population are explored numerically.
Conrad Miller, Southwestern University
Andres Munoz, City College of New York
Fernando Pena, University of Texas at San Antonio
Rosalyn Rael, Western New Mexico University
Project supervisor: Abdul-Aziz Yakubu, Howard University and Cornell University