Comparative studies on the effects of Bt-transgenic and nontransgenic cotton on arthropod diversity, seedcotton yield and bollworms control

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Abstract or Summary

The effectiveness of commercial Bt-cotton in pest management, influence on arthropod diversity, natural enemies, and toxin flow in the insect fauna under field conditions were studied keeping in view the need to assess bioefficacy and biosafety of Bt-transgenic cotton. There were no significant differences in oviposition by Helicoverpa armigera on Bt-transgenic and non-transgenic cottons (9.2 versus 9.6 eggs plants-100), while the numbers of H. armigera larvae were significantly more on non-transgenic than on Bt-transgenic (10.4 versus 4.0 larvae plants-100) cotton. The Bt-cotton had significantly more number of mature opened bolls (9.6 versus 4.4 bolls plant-1), lower bollworm damage (12.8 versus 40.2% bolls damaged), and higher seedcotton yield (667.7 versus 231.7 kg ha-1). Population of cotton leafhopper, Amrasca biguttula biguttula was lower (582.2 versus 732.2 leafhoppers plants-100), while that of whitefly, Bemisia tabaci was higher on Bt-transgenic (65.2 versus 45.6 whiteflies plants-100) than on non-transgenic cotton. There was no significant influence of Bt-transgenic cotton on abundance of natural enemies of crop pests – chrysopids (9.6 versus 8.4 chrysopids plants-100), ladybird beetles (16.0 versus 10.8 ladybirds plants-100), and spiders (128.4 versus 142.8 spiders plants-100). There were no significant differences in H. armigera egg (19.8 versus 20.9%), larval (7.4 versus 9.6%),  and larval-pupal (1.3 versus 2.9%) parasitism on Bt-transgenic and non-transgenic cottons in the farmer’s fields. The parasitism in larvae of H. armigera was far lower than that of the eggs, which might be because of early mortality of H. armigera prior to parasitoid development in the host larvae. Although, Cry1Ac Bt toxin was detected in Cheilomenes sexmaculatus, chrysopids, A. bigutulla bigutulla, Thrips tabaci, Myllocerus sp., Oxycarenus laetus, Dysdercus koenigii, spiders, bugs, and grasshoppers, no significant differences were observed in their abundance on Bt-transgenic and non-transgenic cottons, suggesting that there were no adverse effects of Bt-cotton on the arthropod diversity under field conditions.

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Comparative studies on the effects of Bt-transgenic and nontransgenic cotton on arthropod diversity, seedcotton yield and bollworms control (held on an external server, and so may require additional authentication details)

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