Crops genetically modified with the bacterium Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) produce proteins that kill pest insects. Steady exposure has prompted concern that pests will develop resistance to these proteins, making Bt plants ineffective.
Cornell research shows that the combination of natural enemies, such as ladybeetles, with Bt crops delays a pest’s ability to evolve resistance to these insecticidal proteins.
“This is the first demonstrated example of a predator being able to delay the evolution of resistance in an insect pest to a Bt crop,” said Anthony Shelton Read more
Cornell entomologist Anthony Shelton says Bt biotech may actually help rather than harm beneficial insects. Check it out on Food and Farm, brought to you by Feedstuffs Foodlink and Feedstuffs Foodlink-Connecting Farm to Fork, as heard on America's Web Radio.com. Read more
"While the importation and release of foreign natural enemies in classical biological control programs can be cost-effective, the released control agent can have unintended effects, such as the displacement of native natural enemies."
Evan Hoki, current graduate student in John Losey’s lab, is about to have a paper published in Biological Control titled “Comparing the consumptive and non-consumptive effects of a native and introduced lady beetle on pea aphids (Acyrthosiphon pisum)” Congratulations to Evan and the Losey lab! Read more
Some experts worry that it's only a matter of time before chikungunya fever spreads to the United States.
"We definitely should be concerned," said Laura Harrington, a professor of entomology at Cornell University who specializes in the spread of chikungunya and other tropical diseases.
The death rate from chikungunya is fairly low about 1 to 2 percent "but it does cause a lot of discomfort," Harrington told Live Science. Read more