Impact of genetically modified maize expressing Cry3Bb1 on non-target arthropods:First year results of a field study


Abstract: The expression of the insecticidal toxin Cry3Bb1 in maize MON 88017 can curbspreading of the Western corn rootworm (WCR, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera), and the toleranceof this maize to glyphosate can facilitate weed management. To examine the generalenvironmental impact of this GM maize, it was planted along with a non-GM but otherwisenearly isogenic cultivar (treated or not treated with the insecticide Dursban 10G) and with tworeference cultivars. Effects on non-target organisms were studied in each treatment on 5 plots of0.5ha each. The content of Cry3Bb1 measured in plant tissues by ELISA fluctuated during seasonand depended on the weather condition and the growth phase of maize. The diversity andabundance of plant-dwelling arthropods (plant sucking arthropods, predators, and parasitoids)and epigeic arthropods (spiders, ground and rove beetles) were monitored three times and fivetimes during the season, respectively. Neither the abundance nor the species composition, wereaffected by the transgenic plant. The data indicate that MON 88017 has no effect on the nontargetarthropod fauna.

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