[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bt maize cultivars based on the event MON810 (expressing Cry 1Ab) have shown high efficacy for controlling corn borers. However, their efficiency for controlling some secondary lepidopteran pests such as Mythimna unipuncta has been questioned, raising concerns about potential outbreaks and its economic consequences. We have selected a resistant strain (MR) of M. unipuncta, which is capable of completing its life cycle on Bt maize and displays a similar performance when feeding on both Bt and non-Bt maize. The proteolytic activation of the protoxin and the binding of active toxin to brush border membrane vesicles were investigated in the resistant and a control strain. A reduction in the activity of proteolytic enzymes, which correlates with impaired capacity of midgut extracts to activate the Cry1Ab protoxin has been observed in the resistant strain. Moreover, resistance in larvae of the MR strain was reverted when treated with Cry1Ab toxin activated with midgut juice from the control strain. All these data indicate that resistance in the MR strain is mediated by alteration of toxin activation rather than to an increase in the proteolytic degradation of the protein. By contrast, binding assays performed with biotin labelled Cry1Ab suggest that binding to midgut receptors does not play a major role in the resistance to Bt maize. Our results emphasize the risk of development of resistance in field populations of M. unipuncta and the need to consider this secondary pest in ongoing resistance management programs to avoid the likely negative agronomic and environmental consequences.
Insect biochemistry and molecular biology 04/2013; · 3.25 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The zoophytophagous feeding habits of larvae and adults of the rove beetle, Philonthus quisquiliarius (Gyllenhal) (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae), are reported for the first time. This study evaluates the effects of different feeding regimes on its growth and reproductive performance (i.e., larval growth, adult weight gain, consumption, fecundity and fertility) and digestive physiology. Larvae presented similar growth rates when fed on living animal or on green plant material for 48h. However, higher consumption rates and lower efficiencies of conversion of digested matter to body mass were obtained when leaves were consumed. Adults presented also positive weight gains regardless of the food consumed (plant or animal material). Interestingly, the highest weight gain rate and efficiency of digestion resulted when adults fed on a rearing diet containing nutrients from both animals and plants. Moreover, we have found negative effects upon P. quisquiliarius fecundity and fertility when supplemental plant nutrients were removed from the optimum rearing diet. Physiological adaptations to allow trophic switching between predation and phytophagy have been found, such as the higher ratio of α-amylase activity to protease activity to deal with the inverted protein-carbohydrate ratio of plant versus animal tissues. Furthermore, this species has an arsenal of digestive proteases whose activity is affected by the type of diet ingested. All together, our results suggest that P. quisquiliarius needs certain nutrients, which are obtained only from plant material. This knowledge will help to understand the complex trophic interactions that occur in agroecosystems.
Journal of insect physiology 07/2012; 58(10):1334-42. · 2.24 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cysteine peptidases in the two-spotted spider mite Tetranychus urticae are involved in essential physiological processes, including proteolytic digestion. Cystatins and thyropins are inhibitors of cysteine peptidases that modulate their activity, although their function in this species has yet to be investigated. Comparative genomic analyses are powerful tools to obtain advanced knowledge into the presence and evolution of both, peptidases and their inhibitors, and could aid to elucidate issues concerning the function of these proteins.
We have performed a genomic comparative analysis of cysteine peptidases and their inhibitors in T. urticae and representative species of different arthropod taxonomic groups. The results indicate: i) clade-specific proliferations are common to C1A papain-like peptidases and for the I25B cystatin family of inhibitors, whereas the C1A inhibitors thyropins are evolutionarily more conserved among arthropod clades; ii) an unprecedented extensive expansion for C13 legumain-like peptidases is found in T. urticae; iii) a sequence-structure analysis of the spider mite cystatins suggests that diversification may be related to an expansion of their inhibitory range; and iv) an in silico transcriptomic analysis shows that most cathepsin B and L cysteine peptidases, legumains and several members of the cystatin family are expressed at a higher rate in T. urticae feeding stages than in embryos.
Comparative genomics has provided valuable insights on the spider mite cysteine peptidases and their inhibitors. Mite-specific proliferations of C1A and C13 peptidase and I25 cystatin families and their over-expression in feeding stages of mites fit with a putative role in mite's feeding and could have a key role in its broad host feeding range.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Maize hybrids expressing the Cry1F toxin provide efficient control of lepidopteran pests. The Mediterranean corn borer, Sesamia nonagrioides (Lefèvre), is one of the most damaging pests of maize in the Mediterranean basin. In this work we firstly determined the efficacy of maize hybrids expressing the Cry1F toxin (event TC1507) to control neonates of S. nonagrioides. Leaf tissue feeding bioassays revealed that TC1507 maize is highly effective against this pest, and the percentage mortality obtained was comparable to that obtained with a Cry1Ab-expressing maize hybrid (Compa CB, event 176), which is known to be highly efficacious against S. nonagrioides. Secondly, interpopulation variation in the susceptibility to the Cry1F insecticidal protein was established for nine field-collected populations of S. nonagrioides (three Spanish, two French, two Italian, one Greek, and one Turkish). Estimates of the susceptibility of larvae to the Cry1F toxin showed low variability in lethal concentrations and growth inhibition concentrations among field populations. Moreover, no significant differences were found when they were grouped by geographical areas [Western Mediterranean (Spain and France) versus Eastern Mediterranean (Italy, Greece and Turkey)] or by history of exposure to Bt plants (Spanish vs. other populations). Therefore, the minor differences found in field populations can be attributed to natural variation in sensitivity to Cry1F. The importance of establishing baselines of susceptibility for resistance detection is discussed. Future changes in susceptibility of S. nonagrioides populations to Cry1F could be documented based on this baseline data.
Journal of Economic Entomology 02/2012; 105(1):214-21. · 1.60 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The two-spotted spider mite Tetranychus urticae is a damaging pest worldwide with a wide range of host plants and an extreme record of pesticide resistance. Recently, the complete T. urticae genome has been published and showed a proliferation of gene families associated with digestion and detoxification of plant secondary compounds which supports its polyphagous behaviour. To overcome spider mite adaptability a gene pyramiding approach has been developed by co-expressing two barley proteases inhibitors, the cystatin Icy6 and the trypsin inhibitor Itr1 genes in Arabidopsis plants by Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. The presence and expression of both transgenes was studied by conventional and quantitative real time RT-PCR assays and by indirect ELISA assays. The inhibitory activity of cystatin and trypsin inhibitor was in vitro analysed using specific substrates. Single and double transformants were used to assess the effects of spider mite infestation. Double transformed lines showed the lowest damaged leaf area in comparison to single transformants and non-transformed controls and different accumulation of H(2)O(2) as defence response in the leaf feeding site, detected by diaminobenzidine staining. Additionally, an impact on endogenous mite cathepsin B- and L-like activities was observed after feeding on Arabidopsis lines, which correlates with a significant increase in the mortality of mites fed on transformed plants. These effects were analysed in view of the expression levels of the target mite protease genes, C1A cysteine peptidase and S1 serine peptidase, identified in the four developmental mite stages (embryo, larvae, nymphs and adults) performed using the RNA-seq information available at the BOGAS T. urticae database. The potential of pyramiding different classes of plant protease inhibitors to prevent plant damage caused by mites as a new tool to prevent pest resistance and to improve pest control is discussed.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(8):e43011. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A laboratory study was carried out to assess the potential prey-mediated effects of Cry3Bb1-expressing Bt maize on the fitness and predatory ability of Atheta coriaria Kraatz (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae), using Tetranychus urticae Koch (Acari: Tetranychidae) as prey. The concentration of Cry3Bb1 toxin through the trophic chain significantly decreased from Bt maize (21.7 μg g(-1) FW) to mites (5.6 μg g(-1) FW) and then to A. coriaria adults (1.4 μg g(-1) FW), but not from mites to A. coriaria L1-L3 larvae (4.1-4.6 μg g(-1) FW). Interestingly, the toxin levels detected in A. coriaria larvae represent more than 20% of the concentration found in Bt maize, and the toxin was detected up to 48 h after exposure. To our knowledge, this is the highest level of exposure ever reported in a predatory beetle to the Cry3Bb1 protein. When A. coriaria larvae were reared on Bt-fed mites, Bt-free mites or rearing food, no significant differences among treatments were observed in development, morphological measurements of sclerotized structures and body weight. Moreover, no negative effects on reproductive parameters were reported in adults feeding on Bt-fed prey after 30 days of treatment, and survival was not affected after 60 days of exposure. Similarly, predatory ability and prey consumption of A. coriaria larvae and adults were not affected by exposure to the toxin. All together, these results indicate a lack of adverse effects on A. coriaria, a species commonly used as a biological control agent. The use of A. coriaria as a surrogate species for risk assessment of GM crops that express insecticidal proteins is discussed.
Bulletin of entomological research 11/2011; 102(3):293-302. · 1.58 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To determine whether the 20-kDa chaperone-like protein of Bacillus thuringiensis ssp. israelensis enhances synthesis, crystallization and solubility of the Cry3A coleopteran toxin and whether the crystalline inclusions produced are toxic to neonates of the Colorado potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata.
The cry3A gene was expressed in the 4Q7 strain of B. thuringiensis ssp. israelensis in the absence or presence of the 20-kDa gene. The 20-kDa protein enhanced Cry3A yield by 2·7-fold per unit of fermentation medium. Crystal volumes averaged 2·123 and 0·964 μm(3) when synthesized in, respectively, the presence or absence of the 20-kDa protein. Both crystals were soluble at pH 5 and pH 6; however, the larger crystal was 1·7× and 1·5× more soluble at, respectively, pH 7 and pH 10. No significant difference in toxicity against L. decemlineata neonates was observed.
This report demonstrated that the 20-kDa chaperone-like protein enhances yield, volume and solubility of the coleopteran Cry3A crystalline inclusions per unit crystal/spore mixture.
This is the first report showing that an accessory protein (20-kDa) could enhance synthesis and crystallization of Cry3A, a finding that could be beneficial for commercial production of this coleopteran-specific insecticidal protein for microbial insecticides and possibly even for transgenic crops.
Letters in Applied Microbiology 11/2011; 54(2):88-95. · 1.63 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Colorado potato beetle (CPB), Leptinotarsa decemlineata is an important economic pest of potato worldwide. Resistance to organophosphates and carbamates in CPB has been associated in some cases to point mutations in the acetylcholinesterase (AChE) gene Ldace2, an orthologue of Drosophila melanogaster Dmace2. In this paper we report cloning and sequencing of Ldace1, an orthologue of Anopheles gambiae Agace1 that was previously unknown in CPB. The Ldace1 coding enzyme contains all residues conserved in a functionally active AChE. Ldace1 is expressed at higher levels (between 2- and 11-fold) than Ldace2 in embryos, in the four larval instars and in adults. Specific interference of Ldace1 by means of dsRNA injection resulted in a reduction of AChE activity to an approximate 50% compared to control, whilst interference of Ldace2 reduced AChE activity to an approximate 85%. Analysis of zymograms of AChE activity after interference indicates that LdAChE1 is the enzyme predominantly responsible for the activity visualised. Interference of Ldace1 in CPB adults caused a significant increase in mortality (43%) as early as three days post-injection (p.i.), suggesting the essential role of Ldace1. Interference of Ldace2 also caused a significant increase in mortality (29%) compared to control, although at seven days p.i. The effect of the interference of Ldace1 on susceptibility to the organophosphate chlorpyrifos points out that LdAChE1 could be a main target for this insecticide. In the light of our results, studies associating resistance in CPB to mutations in Ldace2 should be reviewed, taking into consideration analysis of the Ldace1 gene.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The complex of digestive proteinases in caterpillars of the greater wax moth Galleria mellonella was studied. Using chromogenic substrates and inhibitor analysis, it was found that serine proteinases play a key role in this complex. Three anionic and two cationic forms of trypsin and one anionic and one cationic form of chymotrypsin were identified by zymography in the midgut extract of G. mellonella. The most active trypsin was purified to electrophoretic homogeneity, and its N-terminal amino acid sequence was shown to be identical to that of mature trypsin from Plodia interpunctella. Midgut extract from G. mellonella was capable of processing Cry-proteins from Bacillus thuringiensis ssp. galleriae. Enzymes with tryptic and chymotryptic activities participate in this process, and activation of protoxin Cry9A is not the rate-limiting stage in the toxic action of this protein on the greater wax moth.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cystatins from plants have been implicated in plant defense towards insects, based on their role as inhibitors of heterologous cysteine-proteinases. We have previously characterized thirteen genes encoding cystatins (HvCPI-1 to HvCPI-13) from barley (Hordeum vulgare), but only HvCPI-1 C68 → G, a variant generated by direct-mutagenesis, has been tested against insects. The aim of this study was to analyze the effects of the whole gene family members of barley cystatins against two aphids, Myzus persicae and Acyrthosiphon pisum. All the cystatins, except HvCPI-7, HvCPI-10 and HvCPI-12, inhibited in vitro the activity of cathepsin L- and/or B-like proteinases, with HvCPI-6 being the most effective inhibitor for both aphid species. When administered in artificial diets, HvCPI-6 was toxic to A. pisum nymphs (LC(50) = 150 μg/ml), whereas no significant mortality was observed on M. persicae nymphs up to 1000 μg/ml. The effects of HvCPI-6 ingestion on A. pisum were correlated with a decrease of cathepsin B- and L-like proteinase activities. In the case of M. persicae, there was an increase of these proteolytic activities, but also of the aminopeptidase-like activity, suggesting that this species is regulating both target and insensitive enzymes to overcome the effects of the cystatin. To further analyze the potential of barley cystatins as insecticidal proteins against aphids, Arabidopsis plants expressing HvCPI-6 were tested against M. persicae. For A. pisum, which does not feed on Arabidopsis, a combined diet-Vicia faba plant bioassay was performed. A significant delay in the development time to reach the adult stage was observed in both species. The present study demonstrates the potential of barley cystatins to interfere with the performance of two aphid species.
Transgenic Research 04/2011; 20(2):305-19. · 2.61 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Phytocystatins are inhibitors of cysteine-proteases
from plants putatively involved in plant defence based
on their capability of inhibit heterologous enzymes. We
have previously characterised the whole cystatin gene
family members from barley (HvCPI-1 to HvCPI-13). The
aim of this study was to assess the effects of barley cystatins
on two phytophagous spider mites, Tetranychus
urticae and Brevipalpus chilensis. The determination of
proteolytic activity profile in both mite species showed the
presence of the cysteine-proteases, putative targets of
cystatins, among other enzymatic activities. All barley
cystatins, except HvCPI-1 and HvCPI-7, inhibited in vitro
mite cathepsin L- and/or cathepsin B-like activities,
HvCPI-6 being the strongest inhibitor for both mite
species. Transgenic maize plants expressing HvCPI-6
protein were generated and the functional integrity of the
cystatin transgene was confirmed by in vitro inhibitory
effect observed against T. urticae and B. chilensis protein
extracts. Feeding experiments impaired on transgenic lines
performed with T. urticae impaired mite development and
reproductive performance. Besides, a significant reduction
of cathepsin L-like and/or cathepsin B-like activities was
observed when the spider mite fed on maize plants
expressing HvCPI-6 cystatin. These findings reveal the
potential of barley cystatins as acaricide proteins to protect
plants against two important mite pests.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tephritid flies attack a large variety of fruits, which constitute highly-priced commodities in many countries. Insecticides have been used extensively for their control.Although resistance development in fruit flies has not kept pace with that in other insects, possibly due to their high mobility and tendency for wide spatial dispersal, recent studies have indicated that selection pressure has now reached the point where resistance is detectable in the field and control may therefore become problematic. The status of resistance to the commonly used insecticides in the most significant Tephritid pests, such as the Mediterranean fruit fly Ceratitis capitata, the oriental fruit fly Bactroceradorsalis, the olive fly Bactroceraoleae and the melon fly Bactroceracucurbitae, is reviewed. Emphasis has been placed on the resistance mechanisms that have been elucidated at the biochemical and molecular level. Prospects for using this knowledge alongside genomic information in Tephritidae to develop novel strategies of potential practical importance for resistance management are discussed.
Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology - PESTIC BIOCHEM PHYSIOL. 01/2011; 100(3):199-205.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The spider mite Tetranychus urticae is a cosmopolitan agricultural pest with an extensive host plant range and an extreme record of pesticide resistance. Here we present the completely sequenced and annotated spider mite genome, representing the first complete chelicerate genome. At 90 megabases T. urticae has the smallest sequenced arthropod genome. Compared with other arthropods, the spider mite genome shows unique changes in the hormonal environment and organization of the Hox complex, and also reveals evolutionary innovation of silk production. We find strong signatures of polyphagy and detoxification in gene families associated with feeding on different hosts and in new gene families acquired by lateral gene transfer. Deep transcriptome analysis of mites feeding on different plants shows how this pest responds to a changing host environment. The T. urticae genome thus offers new insights into arthropod evolution and plant-herbivore interactions, and provides unique opportunities for developing novel plant protection strategies.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A three year (2003–2005) field study compared the susceptibility to the Cry1Ab toxin, expressed in Bt maize, of Mediterranean corn borer (MCB) Sesamia nonagrioides populations collected from areas with different adoption rates of Bt maize in Spain with Bt-free areas in Greece. Spain is the only European country where the cultivar Compa CB derived from the event Bt176 was commercially grown, from 1998 to 2005. The large decrease of the titer of the toxin in this cultivar at later growth stages represented the worst-case scenario for resistance development of MCB, since larvae of the second and third generations were exposed to sublethal concentrations of Cry1Ab toxin. Our data revealed that the variation in susceptibility to Cry1Ab for the MCB Spanish field populations analyzed in the three years was very low, with LC50 values fluctuating between 12 and 30ngCry1Ab/cm2, regardless of the region of origin, the type of maize (Bt or non-Bt) and the year. Furthermore, no significant differences were found when comparisons were made with a laboratory population (LC50 values: 18–26ngCry1Ab/cm2) or with field populations from Greece (Bt-free areas), which displayed LC50 values ranging between 22 and 27ngCry1Ab/cm2. Standardizing bioassay protocols proved to be essential for obtaining comparable results. These findings suggest that resistant MCB populations did not evolve in those Spanish maize areas where Compa CB was largely cultivated for eight years, contradicting the expected rapid development of resistance under these unfavourable conditions. Additionally, our results can be used as baseline indices in post-market resistance monitoring programs if Bt maize is introduced in Greece. Further studies should continue, since the insights gained from a resistance monitoring program may help to enhance the durability of Bt maize.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Phytocystatins are inhibitors of cysteine-proteases from plants putatively involved in plant defence based on their capability of inhibit heterologous enzymes. We have previously characterised the whole cystatin gene family members from barley (HvCPI-1 to HvCPI-13). The aim of this study was to assess the effects of barley cystatins on two phytophagous spider mites, Tetranychus urticae and Brevipalpus chilensis. The determination of proteolytic activity profile in both mite species showed the presence of the cysteine-proteases, putative targets of cystatins, among other enzymatic activities. All barley cystatins, except HvCPI-1 and HvCPI-7, inhibited in vitro mite cathepsin L- and/or cathepsin B-like activities, HvCPI-6 being the strongest inhibitor for both mite species. Transgenic maize plants expressing HvCPI-6 protein were generated and the functional integrity of the cystatin transgene was confirmed by in vitro inhibitory effect observed against T. urticae and B. chilensis protein extracts. Feeding experiments impaired on transgenic lines performed with T. urticae impaired mite development and reproductive performance. Besides, a significant reduction of cathepsin L-like and/or cathepsin B-like activities was observed when the spider mite fed on maize plants expressing HvCPI-6 cystatin. These findings reveal the potential of barley cystatins as acaricide proteins to protect plants against two important mite pests.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this study we assess the prey-mediated effects of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) Cry1Ab-expressed in maize on the performance and digestive physiology of the rove beetle Atheta coriaria (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae), using Tetranychus urticae (Acari: Tetranychidae) as prey in tritrophic bioassays. The toxin was detected in both T. urticae and A. coriaria adults and larvae, with concentrations of Cry1Ab decreasing through the trophic chain. In A. coriaria adults, the toxin decayed following an exponential curve, not being detectable in their bodies 24h after the exposure to Bt-fed mites. When the performance of A. coriaria reared on (i) Bt maize infested with T. urticae, (ii) non-Bt maize infested with T. urticae, and (iii) rearing food were compared, no differences were found in any of the parameters analyzed (duration of immature stages, sex ratio, survivorship, fecundity and egg fertility). Proteolytic activities of A. coriaria adults fed with mites raised on Bt maize did not show differences with those reared on non-Bt fed-prey, indicating that the nutritional quality of the prey was not affected by exposure to the toxin. This work represents the first study dealing with prey-mediated effects of Bt maize on larvae and adults of a rove beetle. The use of this cosmopolitan rove beetle as an indicator species to assess potential effects of genetically modified crops on non-target arthropods is feasible.
Biological Control - BIOL CONTROL. 01/2010; 55(3):225-233.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cyclorrhapha insect genomes contain a single acetylcholinesterase (AChE) gene while other insects contain at least two ace genes (ace1 and ace2). In this study we tested the hypothesis that the two ace paralogous from Blattella germanica have different contributions to AChE activity, using RNA interference (RNAi) to knockdown each one individually. Paralogous-specific depletion of Bgace transcripts was evident in ganglia of injected cockroaches, although the effects at the protein level were less pronounced. Using spectrophotometric and zymogram measurements, we obtained evidence that BgAChE1 represents 65-75% of the total AChE activity in nerve tissue demonstrating that ace1 encodes a predominant AChE. A significant increase in sensitivity of Bgace1-interfered cockroaches was observed after 48 h of exposure to chlorpyrifos. In contrast, Bgace2 knockdown had a negligible effect on mortality to this organophosphate. These results point out a key role, qualitative and/or quantitative, of AChE1 as target of organophosphate insecticides in this species. Silencing the expression of Bgace1 but not Bgace2 also produced an increased mortality in insects when synergized with lambda-cyhalothrin, a situation which resembles the synergistic effects observed between organophosphates and pyrethroids. Gene silencing of ace genes by RNAi offers an exciting approach for examining a possible functional differentiation in ace paralogous.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The effects of different prey regimes on the performance and digestive physiology of the spined soldier bug, Podisus maculiventris (Say) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae), were assessed. Specifically, P. maculiventris nymphs were fed on Colorado potato beetle (CPB), Leptinotarsa decemlineata Say (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), larvae; Egyptian cotton leafworm (ECW); Spodoptera littoralis (Boisduval) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae); larvae; Calliphora spp. (CAL) (Diptera: Calliphoridae) pupae or a mixture of the three prey. No differences in development and weight gain were observed when P. maculiventris nymphs were fed different prey species (CPB, ECW or CAL). However, an increase in weight gain and a reduction in the duration of the stadia were observed for nymphs fed with a mixture of the three prey. To investigate the physiological background, biochemical analysis were carried out on insects dissected at the end of the feeding assay. We have found that the proteolytic activity in the salivary glands of P. maculiventris nymphs was not affected by prey species, whereas the relative activity of these proteases in the midgut depends on the prey. Moreover, gel assays proved that the proteolytic profiles of midguts from P. maculiventris nymphs feeding on CPB, ECW and CPB closely resembled those of their prey. All together, these results suggest that P. maculiventris may utilize enzymes from the prey they consume that may facilitate the process of digestion.
Bulletin of entomological research 03/2009; 99(5):487-91. · 1.58 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We investigated the effects of a Bt maize hybrid on fitness and digestive physiology of the ground-dwelling predator Poecilus cupreus L., as compared with the near-isogenic hybrid. A tritrophic assay revealed that there was a great decline in the detection of Cry1Ab toxin through the trophic chain, the concentration of the toxin being 945, 349 and 37 ng g(-1) of fresh weight in Bt maize leaves, Spodoptera littoralis (Boisduval) larvae and P. cupreus larvae, respectively. Moreover, the toxin was only detected in 8% of the P. cupreus adults collected from fields growing Bt maize. Developmental time of both larvae and pupae of P. cupreus was not adversely affected by the Cry1Ab toxin via fed-prey. To elucidate potential detrimental effects due to a reduction in the quality of the prey, we assessed the digestive proteolytic activities of P. cupreus adults from a laboratory culture and insects collected in commercial Bt and non-Bt maize fields. Field-collected P. cupreus adults had higher proteolytic activities than those reared in the laboratory, whereas no significant differences were found between P. cupreus adults reared on Bt and non-Bt maize fed-S. littoralis or between P. cupreus adults collected in commercial Bt and non-Bt maize fields.
Journal of Insect Physiology 12/2008; 55(2):143-9. · 2.38 Impact Factor