Effects of Bt maize on Frankliniella tenuicornis and exposure of thrips predators to prey-mediated Bt toxin

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Abstract or Summary

As a part of a risk assessment procedure, the impact of Bt maize expressing Cry1Ab toxin on the thrips Frankliniella tenuicornis (Uzel) (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) was investigated, and the potential risks for predators feeding on thrips on Bt maize were evaluated. The effects of Bt maize on F. tenuicornis were assessed by measuring life-table parameters when reared on Bt and non-Bt maize. The content of Cry1Ab toxin in different stages of F. tenuicornis reared on Bt maize and the persistence of the toxin in adults where determined in order to evaluate the possible exposure of predators when feeding on thrips. In addition, Chrysoperla carnea (Stephens) (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae) was used as a model predator to assess how the behaviour of prey and predator may influence the exposure of a natural enemy to the Bt toxin. Life-table parameter results showed that F. tenuicornis was not affected when it was reared on Bt maize. This indicates that the potential for prey quality-mediated effects on predators is low. Bt content was highest in thrips larvae and adults, and negligible in the non-feeding prepupal and pupal stages. The persistence of the Cry1Ab toxin in adult F. tenuicornis was short, resulting in a decrease of 97% within the first 24 h. Predation success by young C. carnea larvae varied among the thrips stages, indicating that exposure of predators to Bt toxin can additionally depend on the prey stage. When combining the current knowledge of the susceptibility of major thrips predators with our findings showing no potential for prey quality-mediated effects, relatively low toxin content in thrips as well as short persistence, it can be concluded that the risks for predators when feeding on thrips in or next to Bt maize fields are negligible.


Effects of Bt maize on Frankliniella tenuicornis and exposure of thrips predators to prey-mediated Bt toxin (held on an external server, and so may require additional authentication details)

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