Bio‐safety evaluation of Cry1Ac, Cry2Ab, Cry1Ca, Cry1F and Vip3Aa on Harmonia axyridis larvae
Abstract Dietary exposure studies are initial steps in environmental risk assessments of genetically engineered plants on non‐target organisms. These studies are conducted in the laboratory where surrogate species are exposed to purified and biologically active insecticidal compounds at higher concentrations than those expected to occur in transgenic crops foliage. Thus, dietary exposure (early tier) tests provide robust data needed to make general conclusions about the susceptibility of the surrogate species to the test substance. For this, we developed suitable artificial diet and used it to establish a dietary exposure test for assessing the toxicity of midgut‐active insecticidal compounds to the larvae of the Asian ladybird beetle Harmonia axyridis (Pallas) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). Using boric acid as a model compound, we validated the bioassay established for H. axyridis larvae. An artificial diet containing boric acid which negatively affected survival, development and adult weights was offered to larvae and indicated that the bioassay was able to detect toxic effects of insecticidal substances incorporated in diets. Using this dietary exposure test, environmental risk assessment of Cry1Ac, Cry2Ab, Cry1Ca, Cry1F and the non‐Cry protein Vip3Aa was evaluated by analysing pupation rates, adult emergence rates, 7‐day larval weights, and freshly emerged male and female weights among the toxin treatments and a pure artificial diet. These life‐table parameters did not vary among artificial diets containing 200 μ g/g Bt proteins or pure artificial diet. In contrast, boric acid adversely affected all life‐table parameters. Thus on these bases, we concluded H. axyridis larvae are not sensitive to these Bt proteins expressed in genetically engineered crops.
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