Armyworms, in the southeastern United States, have developed resistance to the Cry1F protein found in many genetically modified corn products developed by Dow AgroSciences and DuPont.
The evolution of insect resistance “is a great threat” long- term to the sustainability of the GMO crop biotechnology that has become a highly valued tool for many U.S. farmers, said Fangneng Huang, an entomologist at Louisiana State University (LSU) and lead researcher for a three-year study.
The GMO corn that is being devoured by armyworms contains the Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) genes. This type of corn has been on the market for 18 years. The armyworm resistance is the latest detected insect resistance after increased Bt resistance in western corn rootworm.
The insect resistance works on the same principle as the development of “super weeds” immune to glyphosate-based herbicides.