Document Detail

Uptake of Bt endotoxins by nontarget herbivores and higher order arthropod predators: molecular evidence from a transgenic corn agroecosystem.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16029480     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The planting of transgenic crops expressing Bacillus thuringiensis endotoxins is widespread throughout the world; the prolific increase in their application exposes nontarget organisms to toxins designed to control pests. To date, studies have focused upon the effects of Bt endotoxins on specific herbivores and detritivores, without consideration of their persistence within arthropod food webs. Here, we report the first quantitative field evaluation of levels of Bt endotoxin within nontarget herbivores and the uptake by higher order arthropods. Antibody-based assays indicated significant quantities of detectable Cry1Ab endotoxin within nontarget herbivores which feed on transgenic corn (including the corn flea beetle, Chaetocnema pulicaria, Japanese beetle, Popillia japonica and southern corn rootworm, Diabrotica undecimpunctata howardi). Furthermore, arthropod predators (Coccinellidae, Araneae, and Nabidae) collected from these agroecosystems also contained significant quantities of Cry1Ab endotoxin indicating its movement into higher trophic levels. This uptake by predators is likely to have occurred by direct feeding on plant material (in predators which are facultatively phytophagous) or the consumption of arthropod prey which contained these proteins. These data indicate that long-term exposure to insecticidal toxins occurs in the field. These levels of exposure should therefore be considered during future risk assessments of transgenic crops to nontarget herbivores and arthropod predators.
James D Harwood; William G Wallin; John J Obrycki
Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Molecular ecology     Volume:  14     ISSN:  0962-1083     ISO Abbreviation:  Mol. Ecol.     Publication Date:  2005 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2005-07-20     Completed Date:  2005-09-21     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9214478     Medline TA:  Mol Ecol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  2815-23     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Entomology, University of Kentucky, S-225 Agricultural Science Center North, Lexington, KY 40546-0091, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Agriculture / methods
Arthropods / metabolism*
Bacterial Proteins / metabolism,  pharmacokinetics*
Bacterial Toxins / metabolism,  pharmacokinetics*
Endotoxins / metabolism,  pharmacokinetics*
Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
Food Chain*
Hemolysin Proteins
Plants, Genetically Modified
Zea mays / metabolism*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Bacterial Proteins; 0/Bacterial Toxins; 0/Endotoxins; 0/Hemolysin Proteins; 0/insecticidal crystal protein, Bacillus Thuringiensis

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