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Field evidence for the exposure of ground beetles to Cry1Ab from transgenic corn

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 November 2005

Claudia Zwahlen
Affiliation:
Department of Entomology, University of Minnesota, 219 Hodson Hall, St. Paul, MN 55108, USA
David A. Andow
Affiliation:
Department of Entomology, University of Minnesota, 219 Hodson Hall, St. Paul, MN 55108, USA

Abstract

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Non-target organisms associated with the soil might be adversely affected by exposure to the Cry1Ab protein from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) in transgenic corn (Zea mays L.). To check for such exposure, we used ELISA to test for Cry1Ab in ground beetles collected live from fields with Bt corn residues and Bt corn (Bt/Bt), Bt corn residues and non-Bt crops (Bt/non-Bt), or non-Bt corn residues and non-Bt crops (non-Bt/non-Bt). In fields with Bt corn residues (Bt/Bt and Bt/non-Bt), Cry1Ab was present in all seven species of ground beetles examined (Agonum placidum, Bembidion rupicola, Clivina impressefrons, Cyclotrachelus iowensis, Harpalus pensylvanicus, Poecilus chalcites, and Poecilus lucublandus). For the two most abundant species, P. chalcites and P. lucublandus, the proportion of beetles with Cry1Ab was significantly higher in Bt/Bt fields (0.50–1.0) and Bt/non-Bt fields (0.41–0.50) than in non-Bt/non-Bt fields (0.0). This is the first field evidence that some ground beetle species are exposed to Cry1Ab. The implications of exposure on the performance of these non-target organisms are unclear.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© ISBR, EDP Sciences, 2005

References

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Field evidence for the exposure of ground beetles to Cry1Ab from transgenic corn
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