from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of several beetles of the genus Diabrotica, the larvae of which feed on the roots of various crop plants, especially corn.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A worm that tunnels through the roots of young plants.


root +‎ worm (Wiktionary)


  • Because rootworm is American corn's most voracious enemy, this new variety has the potential to reduce annual pesticide use in America by more than 14 million pounds.

    Will Frankenfood Save the Planet?

  • The least well-known of the species in the state of Kentucky is the northern corn rootworm which is lacking in any black marks on the wing covers.


  • As reported by The Wall Street Journal in August, university scientists in Iowa and Illinois were discovering fields planted with Monsanto's corn suffering from unexpectedly high levels of damage from rootworm, which could encourage farmers to switch to insect-proof seeds sold by competitors of the St. Louis crop biotechnology giant.

    EPA Warns Monsanto About Bugs

  • The seed contains a gene from a soil microorganism that makes a protein called Cry3Bb1, which kills bugs like the rootworm, but doesn't harm mammals, birds and many beneficial insects.

    EPA Warns Monsanto About Bugs

  • Until insecticide-producing corn plants arrived, Midwest farmers typically tried to keep pests like the corn borer and the rootworm in check by changing what they grew in a field each year, often rotating between corn and soybeans.

    Monsanto Corn Plant Losing Bug Resistance

  • It rips apart the gut of the rootworm but is harmless to mammals, birds and most beneficial insects.

    Monsanto Corn Plant Losing Bug Resistance

  • Dr. Gassmann collected rootworm beetles from four Iowa cornfields with plant damage in 2009.

    Monsanto Corn Plant Losing Bug Resistance

  • Competitors, which use other Bt genes to attack the rootworm, estimate that roughly one-third of the corn grown in the U.S. carries Monsanto's Cry3Bb1 gene.

    Monsanto Corn Plant Losing Bug Resistance

  • Mike Gray , a University of Illinois entomologist, said he is studying rootworm beetles he collected in northwest Illinois earlier this month from fields where Monsanto's Bt-expressing corn had suffered extensive rootworm damage.

    Monsanto Corn Plant Losing Bug Resistance

  • The same is also true for developed countries where there are particular pests that are hard to control -- such as the corn rootworm complex or some perennial weeds.

    Do GM Crops Increase Yield?


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