Survey of Pests and Beneficial Insects in Conventional and Transgenic Cotton


  • Ada Esli Morales Texas A&M University


A cotton patch that was divided into two sections, one being conventional cotton and the other being transgenic cotton was surveyed for insects. The cotton was transgenic for Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), a naturally occurring bacterium in the soil that is toxic to Lepidoptera larvae, which is one of the most common pests in cotton crops. The arthropods that were collected were separated into two categories, one being whether the arthropod was a pest to the crop and the other being if it was beneficial to the crop. There were more pests on the transgenic cotton than on the conventional cotton but there were also more beneficial insects in the transgenic cotton than in the conventional cotton. In none of our samples was Lepidoptera larvae encountered. If Bt cotton has the most promising effect on reducing pests, then there would be fewer pests on the transgenic cotton than on the conventional cotton. Our results, showed that there were more pests on conventional cotton than in Bt cotton. This information is important for the implementation of integrated pest management strategies. The use of Bt transgenic cotton may not be the best method to manage pests. 


Alyokhin, Andrei V., and David N. Ferro. "Relative Fitness of Colorado Potato Beetle (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) Resistant and Susceptible to the Bacillus thuringiensis Cry3A Toxin." Entomological Society of America 9.3 (1999): 510-15. Web of Science. Web. 18 Oct. 2014.

Yizhong, Yang, Johnson Marie-Louise, and Myron P. Zalucki. "Possible Effect Of Genetically Modified Cotton On Foraging Habits Of Early Instar Helicoverpa Armigera (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) Larvae." Australian Journal Of Entomology 47.2 (2008): 137-141. Science & Technology Collection. Web. 18 Oct. 2014.