The impact of Bt maize expressing the Cry1Ac protein on non-target arthropods

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Abstract or Summary

From 2014 to 2016, individuals of the principal non-target arthropod (NTA) species in a field of Bt maize expressing the Cry1Ac protein (Bt38) were compared to those in a control field of the corresponding non-transformed near isoline (Z58). For all 3 years, the population dynamics and biodiversity of NTAs were analyzed to determine if any differences might be attributable to the genetically modified (GM) maize being evaluated. The main NTAs in these fields were Aphidoidea, Pentatomidae,Araneae, and Coccinellidae. Temporal variation in NTA diversity across sample dates within a year showed no significant differences between the Bt maize and the non-Bt maize field in the total number of individuals of the dominant arthropod species per 25 plants, the Shannon index (H), Pielou index (J), Simpson index (D), and Bray-Curtis index. The cultivation of Bt corn failed to show any detrimental evidence on individuals, HJD, and Bray-Curtis index of NTAs, and these parameters were identical in Bt and non-Bt corn plots. These results provide further evidence of the lack of ecological impact of GM maize.

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