Bryan Jensen, UW Dept. of Entomology and IPM Program, UW-Madison
It may be difficult for some of us to believe that Bt corn hybrids have been commercialized for 25 years! For others, Bt hybrids have been a standard insect management practice for their entire professional career. These bioengineered hybrids have certainly provided benefits which include a landscape level reduction of European corn borer populations. Bt hybrids have also ushered in a changing strategy that has crop advisors managing and mitigating Bt resistance.
It is hard to predict what the next decade might bring. However, for the time being, knowing the specific Bt proteins offered within each trait family will be an important piece of information we need to effectively management our target species and to slow the spread of Bt resistance. The recently revised 2021 Handy Bt Trait Table will be an important reference tool. Dr. Chris DiFonzo, Michigan State University, has provided this great resource which allows us to determine the specific proteins available in each trait family. Allowing us to easily understand seed companies guides and promotional materials so that we know which proteins we are currently using.