The evolution of resistance to insecticides is another critical example of how human society has impacted the evolution of species. The evolution of
such traits is rather fast, and found to be based on founder effects. Such events are reason why 400 out of the 1500 categorized pest now express
resistance to several or all insecticides in use (Georghiou & Mellon, 1983) . Any species causing severe lost of crops are defined as pests.
Most insecticides can be classified into four: (1) organochlorines, DDT and the DDT-like compounds such as dieldrin; (2) organophosphates, such as
malathion or parathion; (3) carbamates, like carbaryl; and (4)pyrethroids, such as permethrin. All of these are designed to interfere with the nervous
system of the pest. Due to this design they are highly effective in causing a fast and extensive reduction of the pest population.
However, this represents a problem since it creates a small founder population which has some selective advantage allowing it to survive. The
following founder flush then enables the manifestation of the genes, providing the selective advantages. Most common adaptations are changes in
metabolism as well as the decreased penetrance of organic molecules across insect cuticles.
The acquisition of such traits corresponds to the frequency as well as the dose of the insecticides. One such example is provided through resistance
acquiring of Colorado potatoes beetle. The first insecticide frequently used against this beetle was DDT. It took 7 years for the development of
immunity. Once resistance against this toxin was acquired the use of azinophosmethyl, carbofuran, pyrethroid and synegysts was initiated. Although the
evolution of resistance to DDT took 7 years further resistance evolution required less and less time down to 1 year due to the persistently high
selective pressure by the toxins (Fogash, 1984).
The problem of insecticide resistance becomes even more severe as shown in studies of the possibility of cross and multiple resistances. These
resistances occur due to the mating between subpopulation which have been previously exposed to different toxins. This allows recombination for traits
determining the resistance in the species (Keiding, 1974).
GEORGHIOU, G. P. & MELLON, R. B., 1983. Pesticide resistance in time and space. In G. P. Georghiou & T. Saito (Eds), Pest Resistance to Pesticides:
New York: Plenum.
Though such resistance might be a problem here I think the inherent problem with genetically modified crops is due to our incomplete understanding of
the manipulated genes. In almost all known cases of genes, multiple functions are held by a single gene and any manipulation of these may cause a
multitude of effects, ranging from who knows what. In essence --> DON'T mess with nature is the best approach.
For the most part this whole thing sounds to me like these crops are failing at certain developmental stages. This in turn suggest a failure in the
genetic engineering. This assumption is strengthened by the fact that corn and soy are unrelated species and as such a singular pest is unlikely and
improbable to affect two genetically speaking different organisms. Furthermore, since in essence these plants are new species, it is also unlikely
that a specific microorganism already evolved to be a specific pest to these species.
I wouldn't worry though considering that MONSATO plants are infertile clones, thus the created plant species are incapable of mixing with other
plants nor propagate themselves. So really the problem will take care of itself.