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  • Team discovers how western corn rootworm resists crop rotation

    Some western corn rootworms, like this gravid (egg-carrying) female, survive on soybean leaves long enough to lay their eggs in soybean fields. When the eggs hatch, the larvae feed on corn roots if the same fields are planted in corn the following year.

    Some western corn rootworms, like this gravid (egg-carrying) female, survive on soybean leaves long enough to lay their eggs in soybean fields. When the eggs hatch, the larvae feed on corn roots if the same fields are planted in corn the following year.

    Photo by Joseph Spencer, INHS

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      Some western corn rootworms, like this gravid (egg-carrying) female, survive on soybean leaves long enough to lay their eggs in soybean fields. When the eggs hatch, the larvae feed on corn roots if the same fields are planted in corn the following year.

      Photo by Joseph Spencer, INHS

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      University of Illinois crop sciences professor Manfredo Seufferheld, left, graduate student Matias Curzi, Illinois Natural History Survey insect behaviorist Joseph Spencer and their colleague Jorge Zavala (not pictured) found that rotation-resistant rootworms have more protein-degrading enzymes in their guts and survive longer on a diet of soybean leaves than other western corn rootworms.

      Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

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