Carabid beetles as a bioindicators in Environmental Risk Assessment of GMO’s
Abstract: The international discussions on Environmental Risk Assessment (ERA) forgenetically modified plants (GMP) (EFSA 2008) selected the carabid communities of maizefields as bio-indicators. The GM varieties expressing toxin Cry1 and Cry3 differently affect thebiology of carnivorous and phytophagous carabids and the transfer of the toxin through thetrophic levels. A main problem is the diversity of pathways by which the toxin can be move fromtransgenic plants to non-target organisms. Ground-dwelling beetles are the most abundantpredatory arthropods living in agroecosystems of maize. Carabid larvae and adults arepolyphagous predators that may come into contact with toxins (Cry1, Cry3) expressed bygenetically modified maize in several ways: feeding on plants, target or non-target herbivores, viathe environment (root exudates plant biomass, pollen, dead insects). The problem of the GMO’simpact on the environment should be discussed with other researchers involved in ERA to choosethe correct carabid beetles as a ‘surrogate’ species for risk assessment.