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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DEVELOPMENT OF BIOLOGICALLY-BASED STRATEGIES FOR MANAGING INSECT PESTS OF HORTICULTURAL CROPS Title: Effects of Transgenic Bacillus thuringienses Corn and Permethrin on Nontarget Arthropods

Authors
item Bruck, Denny
item Lopez, Miriam
item Lewis, Leslie
item Prasifka, Jarrad
item Gunnarson, Robert

Submitted to: Journal of Agricultural and Urban Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 12, 2007
Publication Date: July 3, 2007
Citation: Bruck, D.J., Lopez, M.D., Lewis, L.C., Prasifka, J.R., Gunnarson, R.D. 2007. Effects of tansgenic Bacillus thuringienses corn and permethrin on nontarget arthropods. Journal of Agricultural and Urban Entomology. 23(3):111-124.

Interpretive Summary: Planting of insect resistant transgenic corn varieties has led to concerns about the potential negative impact of these plants on nontarget arthropods. Various sampling methods (visual counts, yellow sticky cards, pitfall traps) were used to test for possible nontarget effects on arthropods commonly occurring in corn due to transgenic or insecticide-based pest management. Large-scale field studies were performed in 2001 and 2002 in central Iowa. Treatments included Bt corn (Pioneer 34M95, event MON810), non-Bt corn (Pioneer 34M94), and non-Bt corn treated with insecticide. There was high variation in population estimates for the majority of the arthropods collected. Consequently, only data from arthropods with coefficients of variation less than or equal to 75 using a particular sampling method were used in statistical analysis. Insecticide treatment was the most common cause for significant differences in arthropod populations and caused reductions in the number of arachnids (Araneae and Opiliones), Cantharidae, Elateridae and Macrocentrus cingulum. The numbers of M. cingulum and Nitidulidae were significantly lower in the Bt corn plots, presumably due to a lack of European corn borer larvae which serve as hosts for M. cingulum and provide habitat for Nitidulidae which are known to frequent European corn borer tunnels. Application of conventional insecticide for European corn borer control had a broader impact on nontarget arthropod populations than did the planting of Bt corn.

Technical Abstract: lanting of insect resistant transgenic corn varieties has led to concerns about the potential negative impact of these plants on nontarget arthropods. Various sampling methods (visual counts, yellow sticky cards, pitfall traps) were used to test for possible nontarget effects on arthropods commonly occurring in corn due to transgenic or insecticide-based pest management. Large-scale field studies arranged in a randomized complete block design were performed in 2001 and 2002 in central Iowa. Treatments included Bt corn (Pioneer 34M95, event MON810), a non-Bt isoline (Pioneer 34M94), and the non-Bt isoline treated with permethrin. There was high variation in population estimates for the majority of the arthropods collected. Consequently, only data from taxa with coefficients of variation less than or equal to 75 using a particular sampling method were used in statistical analysis. Insecticide treatment was the most common cause for significant differences in arthropod populations and caused reductions in the number of arachnids (Araneae and Opiliones), Cantharidae, Elateridae and Macrocentrus cingulum. The numbers of M. cingulum and Nitidulidae were significantly lower in the transgenic treatment, presumably due to a lack of Ostrinia nubilalis which serve as hosts for M. cingulum and provide habitat for Nitidulidae which are known to frequent O. nubilalis tunnels. Application of conventional insecticide for O. nubilalis control had a broader impact on nontarget arthropod populations than did the planting of Bt corn.

Last Modified: 12/18/2014
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