GM Crops Increase Biodiversity, Research Finds

Scientists in China have published a research study reporting that transgenic cotton bred to resist pests actually boosts biodiversity since it reduces the amount of insecticide sprayed on fields. The researchers have collected data from 1990 to 2010 at 36 sites in six provinces of northern China and the study revealed that there is a marked increase in abundance of three types of generalist arthropod predators (ladybirds, lacewings, and spiders) and a decreased abundance of aphid pests associated with widespread adoption of Bt cotton and reduced insecticide sprays in this crop. Moreover, scientists also found evidence that the predators might provide additional biocontrol services spilling over from Bt cotton fields onto neighboring crops (maize, peanut and soybean).

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This article is part of the Crop Biotech Update, a weekly summary of world developments in agri-biotech for developing countries, produced by the Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology, International Service for the Aquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications SEAsiaCenter (ISAAA)

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