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Title: The new transgenic Cry1Ab/vip3H rice poses no ecological risks to arthropod communities in rice agroecosystems

item LU, Z - Zhejiang University
item DANG, C - Zhejiang University
item HAN, N - Zhejiang University
item SHEN, Z - 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: 12/2/2015
Publication Date: 1/1/2016
Citation: Lu, Z.B., Dang, C., Han, N.S., Shen, Z.C., Peng, Y.F., Stanley, D.W., Ye, G.Y. 2016. The new transgenic Cry1Ab/vip3H rice poses no ecological risks to arthropod communities in rice agroecosystems. Environmental Entomology. 45(2), 2016, 518-525.

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 three-year investigation the possible influence of a new 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: The ecological risks to non-target organisms should be rigorously assessed before Bt crops are released. Here, the impacts of a new Cry1Ab/Vip3H rice line on arthropod communities in rice agroecosystems were evaluated across three years. Arthropods collected via vacuum were sorted into five guilds. The abundance and proportions of each guild as well as community parameters were determined in Bt and non-Bt rice fields. Changes in arthropod species assemblage over sampling date were determined by principle response curves (PRCs). Bt rice did not exert significant impacts on the seasonal density and proportion of each guild except parasitoids. Detritivore seasonal density, but not percentage, was significantly affected by Bt rice. However, the four community indices (species richness S, Shannon-Wiener index H', Simpson index D, evenness index J') were similar between rice types. PRCs revealed a slight community difference between rice types in the last two tested years, with rice types accounting for 1.0-3.5 percent of the variance among communities. However, sampling dates explain 32.1-67.6 percent for these community differences. Of the 46 taxa with higher species weights, 26.1 percent of the taxa were significantly different, including seven taxa with higher abundance and five with lower density in Bt rice fields. These differences may be attributed to change in density of preys or hosts but not to direct effects of Bt proteins. We infer that Cry1Ab/Vip3H rice poses negligible risks on arthropod communities under field conditions.