posted on Mar, 18 2017 @ 09:14 PM
a reply to: Whodathunkdatcheese
The European corn borer, Ostrinia nubilalis, destroys corn crops by burrowing into the stem, causing the plant to fall over.
Bt corn is a variant of maize that has been genetically altered to express one or more proteins from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis. The
protein is poisonous to certain insect pests and is widely used in organic gardening. The European corn borer causes about a billion dollars in
damage to corn crops each year.
In recent years, traits have been added to ward off corn ear worms and root worms, the latter of which annually causes about a billion dollars in
The Bt protein is expressed throughout the plant. When a vulnerable insect eats the Bt-containing plant, the protein is activated in its gut, which is
alkaline. In the alkaline environment the protein partially unfolds and is cut by other proteins, forming a toxin that paralyzes the insect's
digestive system and forms holes in the gut wall. The insect stops eating within a few hours and eventually starves.
In 1996, the first GM maize producing a Bt Cry protein was approved, which killed the European corn borer and related species; subsequent Bt genes
were introduced that killed corn rootworm larvae.
Approved Bt genes include single and stacked (event names bracketed) configurations of: Cry1A.105 (MON89034), CryIAb (MON810), CryIF (1507), Cry2Ab
(MON89034), Cry3Bb1 (MON863 and MON88017), Cry34Ab1 (59122), Cry35Ab1 (59122), mCry3A (MIR604), and Vip3A (MIR162), in both corn and
cotton.:285ff Corn genetically modified to produce VIP was first approved in the US in 2010.