Survival rate, food consumption, and tunneling of the formosan subterranean termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) feeding on Bt and non-Bt maize

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Abstract or Summary

Although several reports showed that many termite species are susceptible to someBacillus thuringiensis (Bt) subspecies, no research has been conduced to evaluate the possible non-target effect of Bt genetically modified crops on termites. In this study, plant tissues of three commonly used Bt maize (YieldGardTM, GenuityTM VT Triple ProTM and SmartStaxTM) and two non-Bt maize were provided to Formosan subterranean termite,Coptotermes formosanus, as food. Five food sources including wood blocks and filter paper treated with plant extract as well as leaves, stalks, and roots of maize plants were tested in the laboratory. The experiment was maintained for two weeks and the survival rate of termites, food consumption, and tunneling behavior were recorded. The results revealed no significant difference in survival rate and food consumption of termites feeding on Bt and non-Bt maize. There were also no detectable differences in tunneling behavior or food consumption patterns between Bt and non-Bt treatments. The results indicate that Bt proteins expressed in the three Bt maize technologies did not negatively affect Formosan subterranean termites.

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Survival rate, food consumption, and tunneling of the formosan subterranean termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) feeding on Bt and non-Bt maize (held on an external server, and so may require additional authentication details)

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