Transgenic Cabbage Expressing Cry1Ac1 Does Not Affect the Survival and Growth of the Wolf Spider, Pardosa astrigera L. Koch (Araneae: Lycosidae)

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Abstract or Summary

Both herbivores that consume transgenic crops and their predators can be exposed to insecticidal proteins expressed in those crops. We conducted a tritrophic bioassay to evaluate the ecotoxicological impacts that Bt cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. capitata) expressing Cry1Ac1 protein might have on the wolf spider (Pardosa astrigera), a non-target generalist predator. Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assays indicated that protein levels were 4.61 ng g-1 dry weight in fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) fed with the transgenic cabbage and 1.86 ng g-1 dry weight in the wolf spiders that preyed upon them. We also compared the life history traits of spiders collected from Bt versus non-Bt cabbage and found no significant differences in their growth, survival, and developmental rates. Because Bt cabbage did not affect the growth of fruit flies, we conclude that any indirect effects that this crop had on the wolf spider were probably not mediated by prey quality. Therefore, exposure to Cry1Ac1 protein when feeding upon prey containing that substance from transgenic cabbage has only a negligible influence on those non-target predatory spiders.

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