More on Transgenic Traits and Hybrid Performance

There were 17 different sets of transgenic traits evaluated in 2015 Ohio Corn Performance Test (OCPT) representing 22 technology products that are currently being marketed by seed companies. As the type and number of transgenic traits increases each year, the question arises as to whether these different traits affect hybrid performance. Using data from the 2015 OCPT, we’ve grouped hybrids based on the type and number of insect (Bt) and herbicide resistance they contain. Corn borer, corn rootworm, or lepidopteran insect injury were negligible in the 2015 OCPT trials. In Table 1, traits are listed by the insect they help control - corn borer, corn rootworm, or lepidopteran insects and whether they contain glyphosate or glufosinate herbicide tolerance. We’ve omitted trait sets that had two or less entries because so few entries mean that the data reflect individual hybrids more that traits (Nafziger, 2010). Even those groups that are shown can have their average performance skewed by one or more entries, so keep this in mind when interpreting the results. These results suggest that no set of traits performed consistently “much better” or “much worse” than other sets and the numbers of traits was not highly correlated with yield performance among these groups.

Table 1.  Grain yield of hybrids grouped by insect resistance and herbicide tolerance traits, 2015 OCPT.

 

Region

 

SW/SC/C

NW

NC/NE

Trait Set

No.

Yield

No.

Yield

No.

Yield

None

7

241

7

196

12

181

CB2+GT1

27

250

25

196

8

188

CB1+GT1+LL1

5

265

5

205

4

198

CB1+RW1+GT1+LL1

10

247

7

197

5

184

LEP1+CB1+RW1+GT1+LL1

1

256

5

195

2

194

CB3+RW3+GT1+LL1

38

251

52

195

38

188

CB2+RW1+GT1

13

249

9

198

7

182

CB2+GT1+LL1

25

252

15

199

14

192

LEP1+CB1+RW1+GT1+LL1+DT1

2

247

3

199

2

190

NOTE: SW/SC/C and NC/NE OCPT regions have three locations, NW Region has two locations.           CB = corn borer Bt; RW = corn rootworm Bt; LEP = lepidopteran Bt; GT = glyphosate tolerance;    LL = glufosinate (Liberty) tolerance; DT = drought tolerance (not transgenic).  The number after the trait indicates the number of different events of that type.

Reference

Nafziger, E. 2010. Traits and Hybrid Performance, 2010 - The Bulletin University of Illinois Urbana–Champaign http://bulletin.ipm.illinois.edu/print.php?id=1443

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