Impact of Bt corn pollen on monarch butterfly populations: a risk assessment.
ABSTRACT A collaborative research effort by scientists in several states and in Canada has produced information to develop a formal risk assessment of the impact of Bt corn on monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) populations. Information was sought on the acute toxic effects of Bt corn pollen and the degree to which monarch larvae would be exposed to toxic amounts of Bt pollen on its host plant, the common milkweed, Asclepias syriaca, found in and around cornfields. Expression of Cry proteins, the active toxicant found in Bt corn tissues, differed among hybrids, and especially so in the concentrations found in pollen of different events. In most commercial hybrids, Bt expression in pollen is low, and laboratory and field studies show no acute toxic effects at any pollen density that would be encountered in the field. Other factors mitigating exposure of larvae include the variable and limited overlap between pollen shed and larval activity periods, the fact that only a portion of the monarch population utilizes milkweed stands in and near cornfields, and the current adoption rate of Bt corn at 19% of North American corn-growing areas. This 2-year study suggests that the impact of Bt corn pollen from current commercial hybrids on monarch butterfly populations is negligible.
SourceAvailable from: Jörg Romeis01/2006; ART Schriftenreihe 1.
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ABSTRACT: The recent rapid developments in biotechnology have made great contributions to the study of plant gene pools. The application of in vitro methods in freeze storage and DNA protection techniques in fast production studies has made major advances. From that aspect, biotechnology is an indispensable means for the protection of plant gene pools, which includes the insurance of sustainable agriculture and development of species. Besides all the positive developments, one of the primary risks posed by the uncontrolled spreading of genetically modified organisms is the possibility for other non-target organisms to be negatively affected. Genes of plant origin should be given priority in this type of studies by taking into consideration such negative effects that may result in disruption of ecological balance and damage to plant genetic pools. Turkey, due to its ecological conditions and history, has a very important position in terms of plant gene pools. This richness ought to be protected without corrupting its natural quality and natural evolution process in order to provide the sources of species that will be required for future sustainable agricultural applications. Thus, attention should be paid to the use of biotechnological methods, which play an important role especially in the protection and use of local and original plant gene pools.Biotechnology & Biotechnological Equipment 12/2014; 29(1):1-9. DOI:10.1080/13102818.2014.981368 · 0.38 Impact Factor