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Pesticide Toxicology Laboratory

ISU Entomology / Pesticide Toxicology Laboratory / Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki [CryIA(c)] protein expressed in transgenic cotton: Effects on beneficial and other non-target insects

Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki [CryIA(c)] protein expressed in transgenic cotton: Effects on beneficial and other non-target insects

Authors: Sims, S.R.
Journal, Volume, Year: Southwestern Entomologist, volume 20(4):493-500, 1995
Summary

Purified CryIA(c) protein, equivalent to the protein produced in genetically modified cotton plants, was tested against 14 insect species representing 7 orders. CryIA(c) proteins were incorporated into insect diets (100 ug/ml or 100 ug/g depending on the test system) and fed to larvae for up to 7 days. Four Lepidoptera species were sensitive to CryIA(c), but the six species of non-target insects and four species of beneficial insects showed no toxic effects.

Comments

This study indicates that CryIA(c) proteins, even at concentrations 100 times higher than found in the field in pollen and nectar of transgenic cotton, are not toxin to non-target and beneficial insects. These were short-term (up to 7 days) feeding studies using purified CryIA(c) protein; however, long-term studies that run throughout a growing season using microcosm or field tests and CryIA(c) proteins expressed by transgenic plants may provide additional information regarding the potential for chronic effects.