GENTECH archive


Fwd: B-GE: the refuge disaster


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May 13, 1999
Prof. Joe Cummins
Dominant mutants to Bt resistance in corn borer

The recent discovery that mutants Bt resistance in corn borer are
dominant (or semi dominant) means that the refuge set aside to prevent
spread of  Bt resistance are actually accelerating spread of Bt
resistant mutants and the elimination of Bt in pest control. The
dominant mutants mate with wild type borers and produce off-springs that
are mainly resistant.
Prof. Rick Roush was a major promoter of the refuge concept to delay
spread of resistant mutants. He recently copied to me letter he had
written to an individual named Nina. He suggested her views on evolution
were “out of the mainstream” even though she dealt with phenomena
reported in major genetics journals and  widely accepted  among
geneticists worldwide. He did not actually deal with the threat of
dominant mutants and refuge among the millions of acres of corn planted
based on his beliefs. It would have been better to focus on the damage
done by refuge than it was to marginalize  valid criticism based on
fundamental gentics.

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