Diamondback moth compensatory consumption of protease inhibitor-transformed plants

Juliette Winterer, Joy Bergelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Prior study of the effect of protease inhibitors (PIs) on diamondback moths suggests that moths are resistant to them, so PIs represent an ineffective defence against moths. However, our data suggest that diamondback moths do suffer lower growth rates when they consume plants transformed with potato protease inhibitor (PI2), but that effect is hidden by compensatory consumption. Plants, instead of gaining an advantage by lowering the insect growth rate, suffer a disadvantage as moths consume more tissue to mitigate the effect. Furthermore, PI2, when used in conjunction with another transgenic pesticidal protein, Bt (from Bacillus thuringiensis) counteracts the effectiveness of Bt at protecting plant tissue. Thus, transgenic PIs are not only less effective than previously thought in protecting Brassica plants from diamondback moths, they may actually lead to increased plant damage by the moths.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1069-1074
Number of pages6
JournalMolecular ecology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001


  • Bacillus thuringiensis
  • Brassica napus
  • Plutella xylostella
  • Serine protease inhibitors
  • Synergism
  • Transgenic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Diamondback moth compensatory consumption of protease inhibitor-transformed plants'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this