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Development and reproduction of Spodoptera eridania (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) and its egg parasitoid Telenomus remus (Hymenoptera: Platygastridae) on the genetically modified soybean (Bt) MON 87701×MON 89788

  • O.C. Bortolotto (a1) (a2), G.V. Silva (a1) (a2), A. de Freitas Bueno (a2), A.F. Pomari (a2) (a3), S. Martinelli (a4), G. P. Head (a4), R. A. Carvalho (a5) and G.C. Barbosa (a2) (a6)...
  • Please note a correction has been issued for this article.

Genetically modified crops with insect resistance genes from Bacillus thuringiensis Berliner (Bt-plants) are increasingly being cultivated worldwide. Therefore, it is critical to improve our knowledge of their direct or indirect impact not only on target pests but also on non-target arthropods. Hence, this study evaluates comparative leaf consumption and performance of Spodoptera eridania (Cramer), a species that is tolerant of the Cry1Ac protein, fed with Bt soybean, MON 87701×MON 89788 or its non-Bt isoline. We also assessed the comparative performance of the egg parasitoid Telenomus remus Nixon on eggs of S. eridania produced from individuals that fed on these two soybean isolines as larvae. Results showed that Bt soybean reduced by 2 days larval development and increased by 3 days adult male longevity. Therefore, we conclude that the effect of Bt soybean MON 87701×MON 89788 on S. eridania development and reproduction is small, and favorable to pest development. These differences are less likely to directly result from the toxin presence but indirectly from unintended changes in plant characteristics caused by the insertion of the transgene. Our results should be viewed as an alert that S. eridania populations may increase in Bt soybeans, but on the other hand, no adverse effects of this technology were observed for the egg parasitoid T. remus which can help to prevent S. eridania outbreaks on these crops.

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