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Crop Biotech Update

Study Finds Bt Cotton Does Not Affect NTO Agro-ecosystem Relations

September 8, 2021

A team of researchers from China investigated the aphid-parasitoid interactions over an eight-year period to study the potential impacts of genetically modified crops on non-target arthropods in terms of food web structure and ecosystem functions. Results showed that the GM crops did not affect the agro-ecosystem of the areas of study.

The researchers chose to focus on the aphid-parasitoid interactions and compare the infestation levels of the Aphis gossypii, its associated parasitoid community, and the overall parasitism rate between Bt cotton with Cry1Ac + CpTI and its non-transgenic counterpart. They also measured the impact of the Bt cotton on structural traits and inter-species interactions in food webs.

Results revealed that the Bt cotton did not affect the abundance of aphids and parasitoids, nor the in-field parasitism rates. The Bt cotton also did not alter food web architecture or biological control services. The data gathered from the study highlights the impact of Bt cotton on different non-target arthropods as well as diversifies the ecological risk assessment toolbox for transgenic insecticidal crops.

Read more from Pest Management Science for more details.

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