Presence of Cry1Ab in the Bt maize – aphid (Rhopalosiphum maidis) – ladybeetle (Propylea japonica) system has no adverse effects on insect biological parameters

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Abstract or Summary

Transgenic Bacillus thuringiensis Berliner (Bt) crops receive particular attention because they carry genes encoding insecticidal proteins that might negatively affect non‐target arthropods. Here, laboratory experiments were conducted to evaluate the impact of Cry1Ab‐expressing transgenic maize [5422Bt1 (event Bt11) and 5422CBCL (MON810)] on the biological parameters of two non‐target arthropods, the aphid Rhopalosiphum maidis (Fitch) (Hemiptera: Aphididae) and its predator the ladybeetle Propylea japonica (Thunberg) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). In a long‐term assay (three generations), no significant differences were found between R. maidis fed Bt maize and those fed a near‐isogenic line (5422) when individual parameters were compared, including nymph development time, adult longevity, aphid spawning period, and fecundity. No negative effects were detected throughout the life cycle of Pjaponica in aphids’ feeding amount, development (nymphs, pupae, adults, and progeny eggs), fecundity, or egg hatching when they preyed on Bt maize‐fed aphids compared with non‐Bt maize treatments. A tritrophic assay revealed that Cry1Ab was highly diluted through the food chain (Bt maize leaves, R. maidis, and P. japonica), as detected by an enzyme‐linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). In conclusion, although Cry1Ab concentrations in maize leaves increased as the plants developed, Cry1Ab levels were significantly reduced in the aphid R. maidis, and no traces of Cry1Ab were detected in P. japonica preying on Bt maize‐fed aphids. The two hybrids of Bt maize expressing Cry1Ab had no negative effects on the measured biological parameters of the aphid R. maidis or its predator, the ladybeetle P. japonic

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Presence of Cry1Ab in the Bt maize – aphid (Rhopalosiphum maidis) – ladybeetle (Propylea japonica) system has no adverse effects on insect biological parameters (held on an external server, and so may require additional authentication details)

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