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BT in plants

Colin MacDiarmid macdiarm at sbsu1.auckland.ac.nz
Mon Jan 30 19:55:29 EST 1995

I dont have any new genetic controversies to add, but in respect of the BT story - BT in crop plants is in fact (compared to topical application) a good way of applying toxin to insect populations  - the precision of the approach (only insects which specifically attack the crop in question are dosed with BT) ensures non-pest insects or insects which attack other plants in the proximity of the crop are not exposed to BT, so have less chance of becoming resistant.
As well, I've heard that high doses of BT are better than low doses in preventing insect resistance, so BT plants are probably better.  Topical application tends to have short lived and mild effects due to the toxin breaking down in the environment (probably why cases of BT resistance have been reported just from spraying the stuff).
Colin MacDiarmid
macdiarm at sbsu1.auckland.ac.nz

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