Ingestion of Bt corn pollen containing Cry1Ab/2Aj or Cry1Ac does not harm Propylea japonica larvae

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Abstract or Summary

Propylea japonica (Thunberg) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) is a prevalent pollen consumer in corn fields and is therefore exposed to insecticidal proteins contained in the pollen of insect-resistant transgenic corn cultivars expressing Cry proteins derived from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). In the present study, the potential effect of Cry1Ab/2Aj- or Cry1Ac-containing transgenic Bt corn pollen on the fitness of P. japonica larvae was evaluated. The results show that the larval developmental time was significantly shorter when P. japonica larvae were fed pollen from Bt corn cultivars rather than control pollen but that pupation rate, eclosion rate, and adult fresh weight were not significantly affected. In the feeding experiments, the stability of the Cry proteins in the food sources was confirmed. When Bt corn pollen passed through the gut of P. japonica, 23% of Cry1Ab/2Aj was digested. The results demonstrate that consumption of Bt corn pollen containing Cry1Ab/2Aj or Cry1Ac has no detrimental effect on P. japonica larvae; the shortened developmental time of larvae that consumed these proteins was likely attributable to unknown differences in the nutritional composition between the Bt-transgenic and control corn pollen.

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