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26 July 2017 Bitrophic and Tritrophic Effects of Transgenic cry1Ab/cry2Aj Maize on the Beneficial, Nontarget Harmonia axyridis (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae)
Xue Chang, Zengbin Lu, Zhicheng Shen, Yufa Peng, Gongyin Ye
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Abstract

Harmonia axyridis (Pallas) is a common and abundant predator in China and may be exposed to Cry toxins that are produced in Bt crops either by feeding on plant parts or by feeding on target or nontarget herbivorous insects. A new Bt maize line, expressing the Cry1Ab/Cry2Aj fused protein, has been developed and should be rigorously assessed for the ecological risks on the natural enemy. Laboratory experiments were carried out to study the effects of this Bt maize on nontarget predator H. axyridis via bitrophic interaction of adult H. axyridis feeding on Bt maize pollen and tritrophic interaction of H. axyridis consuming the lepidopteran prey. Spodoptera exigua (Hübner) neonate larvae were used to transfer Bt protein because they could survive after ingesting transgenic cry1Ab/cry2Aj maize kernels in the previous study. ELISA bioassays confirmed that the Bt protein could be transferred, but diluted through Bt maize–prey–predator. Life history parameters such as survival, development, weight, fecundity, and egg hatching rate were not significantly different when H. axyridis consumed prey that had been reared on Bt maize compared with prey reared on a nontransformed parental control. Furthermore, feeding directly on Bt maize pollen also had no detrimental effects on fitness, survival, and weight of female and male adults. In conclusion, our results indicate that transgenic cry1Ab/cry2Aj maize poses no ecological risks on the nontarget predator H. axyridis.

© The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com
Xue Chang, Zengbin Lu, Zhicheng Shen, Yufa Peng, and Gongyin Ye "Bitrophic and Tritrophic Effects of Transgenic cry1Ab/cry2Aj Maize on the Beneficial, Nontarget Harmonia axyridis (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae)," Environmental Entomology 46(5), 1171-1176, (26 July 2017). https://doi.org/10.1093/ee/nvx113
Received: 21 March 2017; Accepted: 2 June 2017; Published: 26 July 2017
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