Cry2A rice did not affect the interspecific interactions between two rice planthoppers, Nilaparvata lugens, and Sogatella furcifera

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Abstract or Summary

Interspecific interactions are complex in agro-ecosystems and could be affected by agricultural technologies including transgenic crop planting. Few studies focused on the effects of Bt crops on the interspecific interactions of non-target organisms. Here we assessed the effects of transgenic cry2A rice (Cry2A rice) on the interspecific interaction between two rice planthoppers, namely, Nilaparvata lugens (the brown planthopper, BPH) and Sogatella furcifera (the white-backed planthopper, WBPH). Cry2A rice showed no significant effects on most biological parameters of these two rice planthoppers, except for wet weight of BPH female adults and development duration of WBPH female nymphs. In contrast, interspecific interactions between BPH and WBPH showed significant impacts on their biological parameters, no matter on Cry2A rice or non-transgenic control. In two-factor analysis combing rice line and interspecific interaction together, the interaction between these two factors did not affect most biological parameters of neither planthopper species, except for development duration of BPH female nymphs and WBPH nymphs (both male and female). Additionally, the egg distributions of BPH and WBPH had no significant differences between Cry2A and non-Cry2A treatments. Results of field experiments showed that Cry2A rice did not affect their population densities at most sampling dates in a five-year survey, and the interaction between BPH and WBPH showed no significant differences in both Cry2A and non-Cry2A rice paddies. In conclusion, our tested Cry2A rice would not affect the interspecific interactions between BPH and WBPH based both laboratory and field results.

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