Evolution of resistance by target pests is the main threat to the long-term efficacy of crops expressing Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) insecticidal proteins. Cry2 proteins play a pivotal role in current Bt spray formulations and transgenic crops and they complement Cry1A proteins because of their different mode of action. Their presence is critical in the control of those lepidopteran species, such as Helicoverpa spp., which are not highly susceptible to Cry1A proteins. In Australia, a transgenic variety of cotton expressing Cry1Ac and Cry2Ab (Bollgard II) comprises at least 80% of the total cotton area. Prior to the widespread adoption of Bollgard II, the frequency of alleles conferring resistance to Cry2Ab in field populations of Helicoverpa armigera and Helicoverpa punctigera was significantly higher than anticipated. Colonies established from survivors of F(2) screens against Cry2Ab are highly resistant to this toxin, but susceptible to Cry1Ac.
Caccia, S., Hernández-Rodríguez, C. S., Mahon, R. J., Downes, S., James, W., Bautsoens, N., Van Rie, J., & Ferré, J. (2010). Binding site alteration is responsible for field-isolated resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis Cry2A insecticidal proteins in two Helicoverpa species. PLoS ONE, 5(4), e9975. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0009975