Extraordinary Adaptive Plasticity of Colorado Potato Beetle: “Ten-Striped Spearman” in the Era of Biotechnological Warfare
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Expanding from remote areas of Mexico to a worldwide scale, the ten-striped insect, the Colorado potato beetle (CPB, Leptinotarsa decemlineata Say), has risen from being an innocuous beetle to a prominent global pest. A diverse life cycle, phenotypic plasticity, adaptation to adverse conditions, and capability to detoxify or tolerate toxins make this insect appear to be virtually “indestructible”. With increasing advances in molecular biology, tools of biotechnological warfare were deployed to combat CPB. In the last three decades, genetically modified potato has created a new challenge for the beetle. After reviewing hundreds of scientific papers dealing with CPB control, it became clear that even biotechnological means of control, if used alone, would not defeat the Colorado potato beetle. This control measure once again appears to be provoking the potato beetle to exhibit its remarkable adaptability. Nonetheless, the potential for adaptation to these techniques has increased our knowledge of this pest and thus opened possibilities for devising more sustainable CPB management programs.