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RESEARCH: EFFECT OF BT MAIZE ON THE DEV'T AND REPRODUCTION OF AN INSECT PREDATOR

Date : 10 August 2012

Scientist Belen Lumbierres from Universitat de Lleida and colleagues examined the effect on the reproduction and nymphal development of the predator minute pirate bug (Orius majusculus) by feeding on Bt plant materials and on Bt-fed herbivore prey. In their first experiment, the researchers measured the effects of Bt maize plants on the fertility and fecundity of the nymphs by feeding them with diets containing Bt or non-Bt pollen in addition to the prey. For the second setup, they measured the effect of Bt and non-Bt pollen without the prey on nymphal development, survival, sex ratio and teneral adult weight and size. The last experiment identified the prey-mediated effects of Bt protein on nymphal developmental time, survival, sex ratio, and teneral adult weight using red spidermite that fed on Bt and non-Bt plant material.

Results showed that feeding on Bt protein by minute pirage bug through plant leaves, pollen, or through the food web has no effect on predator's survival, development, fecundity, and fertility. In contrast, positive effects on the fecundity and developmental time of the predator were observed. Fecundity was improved when they fed on Bt plant materials, and nymphal development was decreased when nymphs were fed with Bt plant materials and Bt-fed spider mites.