Insects laughing at Bt toxin? Try this

2:32pm, November 13, 2007

To combat insect resistance to the widely used pesticide Bt, an international research team has announced a new way to restore the pesticide's punch.

The insect-killing Bt toxins take their name from Bacillus thuringiensis, the bacterium that makes them. Genetic engineers have borrowed the bacterium's toxin-making genes and inserted them into cotton, corn, and other crops so that the plants can make their own pesticides.

Farmers, especially in North America, have planted Bt crops in abundance, exposing so many insects to the toxin that entomologists say it's just a matter of time before significant pests evolve resistance.

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