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Crop Biotech Update

Comparative Diversity of Arthropods on Bt Maize and Non-Bt Maize in South Africa

February 5, 2014

A study published in Environmental Entomology compiled a checklist of arthropods present in South African maize fields to compare the diversity and abundance of arthropods and functional groups on Bt and non-Bt maize. Arthropod samples were collected during two growing seasons of Bt maize and non-Bt maize plants at two localities. The arthropods collected were classified at the morphospecies level and grouped into the following functional groups: detritivores, herbivores, predators, and parasitoids.

A total of 8,771 arthropod individuals, comprising 288 morphospecies and presenting 20 orders, were collected. Results showed that abundance and diversity of arthropods in maize and the different functional groups were not significantly affected by Bt maize. These findings are similar with the results of studies conducted in China, Spain, and the U.S. on GM rice, cotton, and maize.

Read the abstract at