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Lepton HTK: A Diagnostic Test Kit to Improve Cotton Insect Control

R.J. Cibulsky, SenSeong Ng


Abbott Laboratories, in cooperation with the CSIRO in Australia, has previously developed a Heliothis field test kit (LepTon Test) that is capable of differentiating between two species of Heliothis (H. armigera and H. punctigera) that occur in Australia and are considered the two primary pests occurring on cotton. H. armigera exhibits high levels of resistance to pyre-throid insecticides, while H. punctigera does not. Some parts of the North American cotton industry face similar problems to the Australian cotton industry, in that Heliothis/Helicoverpa species show different levels of resistance to pyrethroids and other insecticides.

The application of the Australian LepTon Test technology to United States cotton production will require the development of a similar field test kit (LepTon HTK) that can accurately differentiate between the two key lepidopterous species, Helicoverpa zea (Hz, cotton bollworm) and Heliothis virescens (Hv, tobacco budworm).

Abbott Laboratories has entered into an agreement with Cotton Incorporated to develop the LepTon HTK for the U.S. cotton market. Abbott, in coop-eration with the CSIRO, will be responsible for generating monoclonal antibodies capable of recognizing and differentiating between these two key lepidopterous species, incorporating them into a prototype test kit, performing laboratory and field evaluations, validating the test kit for accuracy, producing the kit, and finally marketing the LepTon kit for use in the United States.

The isolation of the lipophorin antigen and the production of antibodies was initiated in September, 1995 with an anticipated market introduction of the LepTon HTK during the 1997 cotton field season.

Reprinted from Proceedings of the 1996 Beltwide Cotton Conferences pp. 889 - 891
©National Cotton Council, Memphis TN

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Document last modified Sunday, Dec 6 1998