Helicoverpa armigera is a major pest of many tropical crop plants. Soybean trypsin inhibitor (SBTI) was highly effective against the proteolytic activity of gut extract of the insect. SBTI was also inhibitory to insect growth when present in artificial diet. The gene coding for SBTI was cloned from soybean (Glycine max, CVBirsa) and transferred to tobacco plants for constitutive expression. Young larvae ofH. armigera, fed on the leaves of the transgenic tobacco plants expressing high level of SBTI, however, maintained normal growth and development. The results suggest that in certain cases the trypsin inhibitor gene(s) may not be suitable candidates for developing insect resistant transgenic plants.