Positive effect of Cry1Ab-expressing Bt maize on the development and reproduction of the predator Orius majusculus under laboratory conditions

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Abstract or Summary

The effects on the reproduction and nymphal development of the predator Orius majusculus Reuter (Hemiptera: Anthocoridae) caused by feeding on Bt plant materials and on herbivore prey fed on Bt plants were examined in three experiments. First, to measure the effects of Bt maize plants on O. majusculusfecundity and fertility, nymphs were provided with combinations of Bt or non-Bt pollen and leaf in addition to prey, and egg laying and egg hatching in the resulting adults were measured. Second, the effect of Bt vs. non-Bt pollen and leaf with no additional prey on nymphal development, survival, sex ratio and teneral adult weight and size were measured. Third, prey-mediated effects of Bt protein on nymphal developmental time, survival, sex ratio and teneral adult weight were evaluated using Tetranichus urticae Koch (Acarina: Tetranychidae) fed on Bt and non-Bt maize plants as prey.

It has been confirmed that ingestion of Bt protein by O. majusculus via plant leaves or pollen or via the food web has no negative effects on predator survival, development, fecundity and fertility. On the contrary, in such circumstances a positive effect on fecundity and developmental time of the predator was observed. Fecundity was increased when they feed on Bt plant material, and nymphal development was shortened when nymphs were fed on Bt-containing spider mites and when they were fed on Bt plant material in the absence of lepidopteran eggs prey.

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