The Effect of Bacillus thuringiensis and Bt Transgenics on Parasitoids during Biological Control

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Abstract or Summary

Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) has emerged as the major ecofriendly biopesticide and a key source of genes for transgenic expression of δ-endotoxins to provide pest resistance in plants and microorganisms, the so-called genetically modified organisms (GMOs). As components of food web, parasitoids are non-target arthropods that coming into
contact with Bt toxins directly via the environment or indirectly through target or non-target herbivorous arthropods which act as intermediates through which Bt toxins can passed on to the third trophic level i.e. their predators and parasitoids. Parasitoids, being important natural enemies of pest lepidopteran larvae, has been investigated for the effects of commercial Bt formulations and GMOs, such as Bt plants. The ecological safety of Bt formulations and transgenically expressed δ-endotoxins and their effect on the interaction of crop pests with their natural enemies are critically important for regulation of pest populations. Studies done so far highlight the advantages and superiority of Bt over other pest control methods. This review highlights the investigations on the interaction of Bt toxins and non-target beneficial insects in the food web and a possible combined pest control approach

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