Evaluating ecological safety and conducting pest risk analysis for transgenic crops are vitally important before their commercial planting. The beet armyworm, Spodoptera exigua, a long-distance migratory insect pest, is not a direct target of transgenic Cry1Ac-expressing cotton in China, but nevertheless it has recently become an important pest. Migrants leaving their natal field arrive in other appropriate habitat far away in a short time, often followed by larval outbreaks. S. exigua has low susceptibility to Cry1Ac.
Knowledge of the physiological consequences of variation in food availability may be essential for understanding behavioural and life history responses to such variation. To study the physiological consequences of food availability animals are generally subjected to caloric restriction or starvation, thereby reducing the upper limit to the energy budget.