Skip to main content
ARS Home » Midwest Area » Columbia, Missouri » Biological Control of Insects Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #306399

Title: No direct effects of two transgenic Bt rice lines, T1C-19 and T2A-1, on the arthropod communities

item LU, Z. - Zhejiang University
item TIAN, J. - Zhejiang University
item HAN, N. - Zhejiang University
item HU, C. - Zhejiang University
item PENG, Y. - Chinese Academy Of Agricultural Sciences
item Stanley, David
item YE, G. - Zhejiang University

Submitted to: Environmental Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/18/2014
Publication Date: 11/1/2014
Citation: Lu, Z.B., Tian, J.C., Han, N.S., Hu, C., Peng, Y.F., Stanley, D.W., Ye, G.Y. 2014. No direct effects of two transgenic Bt rice lines, T1C-19 and T2A-1, on the arthropod communities. Environmental Entomology. 43(5):1453-1463.

Interpretive Summary: Application of classical insecticides has introduced severe problems in agricultural sustainability. One alternative to agricultural chemicals is deploying crops expressing Bt toxin in selected plant tissues. The problem, however, the ecological effects of Bt crops must be thoroughly studied before the crops can be released for wide-spread use. With this goal, we conducted a two-year investigation the possible influence of Bt rice on the arthropod communities in test and control rice plots. In this paper we report that the arthropod community in Bt rice was similar to the communities in non-Bt rice plots. This new research will be directly useful to scientists who are working to improve the efficacy of Bt crops. The ensuing improved insect pest control measures will benefit a wide range of agricultural producers by supporting the long-term sustainability of agriculture.

Technical Abstract: A two-year field trial was conducted to assess the impacts of two transgenic Bt rice lines, T1C-19 expressing Cry1C protein and T2A-1 expressing Cry2A protein, on the arthropod community sampled via vacuum. The arthropods were classified into five guilds, including herbivores, parasitoids, predators, detritivores and others. The seasonal density and dominance distribution of each guild and community-level indices (Species richness, Shannon-Wiener diversity index, Simpson diversity index, and Evenness index) were compared among rice lines. Principle response curves (PRCs) were also used to investigate the differences of entire arthropod community of Bt relative to non-Bt rice plots. The field results showed no significant difference in the community-level indices and dominance distribution of guilds between Bt and non-Bt rice plots. The seasonal density of herbivores, detritivores, and others as well as density of the arthropod community were also not significantly affected by rice lines in either year, although the density of beneficial insects in Bt rice plots was significantly lower compared non-Bt rice plots. The lower abundances of Braconidae, Eulophidae, Cyrtorhinus lividipennis, and Theridiidae in Bt rice plots are attributed to the lower abundances of prey species or hosts. PRCs revealed that arthropod community in Bt rice was similar to the communities in non-Bt rice plots. Our findings indicate that these two Bt rice lines had no marked negative effects on the arthropod community in the paddy fields.