Crop Biotech Update

Scientists Conduct Woodlouse Feeding Experiment with Biotech Wheat

April 15, 2011

Food choice experiments were conducted by I. Bigler and colleagues at the University of Bern, Switzerland to investigate the effects of four GM and five non-GM fungicidal wheat varieties on the food selection behavior of the non-target organism, woodlouse Porcellio scaber.

Results showed that woodlice did not avoid biotech wheat varieties. GM wheat had no adverse effects on the organism. It was also observed that woodlice most likely preferred one of the GM varieties (PM3b1), compared to its non-GM isoline. The scientists assume that this high preference is due to its lower lignin content or leaf litter coverage, thus increasing palatability or digestability.

Suscribers of Journal of Applied Entomology can read the full paper at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1439-0418.2011.01622.x/full.