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Exposure and effects assessments of Bt-maize on non-target organisms (gastropods, microarthropods, mycorrhizal fungi) in microcosms

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  • A. de Vaufleury, Danmark
  • P. E. Kramarz, Danmark
  • P. Binet, Danmark
  • J. Cortet, Danmark
  • S. Caul, Danmark
  • M. N. Andersen, Danmark
  • E. Plumey, Danmark
  • M. Coeurdassier, Danmark
  • P. H. Krogh
  • Afdeling for Terrestrisk Økologi
Potential differences between Bt-maize (MEB307 expressing the insecticidal Cry1Ab protein) and a near-isogenic non-Bt variety (Monumental) in their influence on the garden snail (Helix aspersa), soil microarthropods (Collembola, Actinedida, Acaridida, Gamasida and Oribatida) and mycorrhizal fungi were studied. Growing snails were caged in microcosms allowing the development of Bt or non-Bt-maize (Zea mays L.) on a sandy loam soil. After 3 months exposure, survival and growth of snails were similar in both treatments. Cry1Ab protein was detected in the Bt-maize leaves (22-42.2 [mu]g Bt protein g-1 dry wt), in the snail tissues (0.04-0.11 [mu]g Bt-protein g-1 dry wt) and in their faeces (0.034-5 [mu]g Bt-protein g-1 dry wt). Total soil microarthropod abundance and diversity were similar between control (non-Bt-maize) and the genetically modified (GM) Bt-maize microcosms. The mycorrhizal colonization of roots did not differ between Bt and non-Bt-maize (frequency of mycorrhizal roots was 88.7% and 83.3% respectively). The mycorrhizal infectivity of soils, expressed as MI50 (minimum soil dry weight required to colonize 50% of plants) was measured using red clover. MI50 was similar for soils where Bt or non-Bt-maize was cultivated for 4 months. The detection of Cry1Ab protein in the viscera and faeces of H. aspersa exposed to Bt-maize indicates that snails contribute to the transfer of the Bt-protein from plant to soil or snail predators. This may constitute an alternative route of exposure for Bt-protein in soil, but this was without a negative influence on mycorrhizal fungi or microarthropods. Results showed that Bt-maize was not toxic for the selected non-target species exposed for 3 or 4 months. The microcosms and analyses used in this study represent new methods for assessing effects of chronic exposure to GM plants of several diverse, yet ecologically and temporally associated species. As the soil organisms we studied can also be used in standardized ecotoxicological tests (XP X31-205-2 for mycorrhizal fungi, ISO 11267 for Collembola and ISO 15952 for snails), microcosm exposures represent a way to link laboratory and field methods for the ecotoxicological evaluation of GM plants.
Sider (fra-til)185-194
StatusUdgivet - 2007

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