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European Corn Borer and Bacillus thuringiensis

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History of European Corn Borer

"The European corn borer, Ostrinia nubilalis, came to North America in broom corn (used to make brooms) imported from Hungary and Italy in the early 1900?s. Broom corn is related to shattercane and sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L.). The European corn borer (ECB) was first noticed around Boston, Massachusetts in 1917. ECB infestation gradually moved westward and by 1939 infestation of the Corn belt had begun" (Mason et al, 1996).

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European corn borers can be found infesting many different plant species. These include: field corn, sweet corn, popcorn, seed corn, peppers, snap beans, cotton, wheat, and potatoes. Areas with high infestations of ECB in corn fields have had resulting infestations of borers in some less obvious crops such as soybeans, lima beans, and apples. Some of these plants are not susceptible to a large amount of damage but others, such as field corn, can be severely damaged (Mason et al, 1996).

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