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Sublethal Endpoints in Non-Target Organism Testing for Insect-Active GE Crops.

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Martin EdwardsORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Historically, genetically engineered (GE) plants that have incorporated genes conferring insect protection have primarily used Cry proteins derived from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) to achieve their insecticidal phenotype. As a result, regulators have developed a level of familiarity and confidence in reviewing plants incorporating these insecticidal proteins. However, new technologies have been developed that produce GE plants that incorporate pest protection by triggering an RNA interference (RNAi) response or proteins other than Bt Cry proteins. These technologies have new modes of action. Although the overall assessment paradigm for GE plants is robust, there are ongoing discussions about the appropriate tests and measurement endpoints needed to inform non-target arthropod assessment for technologies that have a different mode of action than the Bt Cry proteins. As a result, increasing attention is being paid to the use of sublethal endpoints and their value for environmental risk assessment (ERA). This review focuses on the current status and history of sublethal endpoint use in insect-active GE crops, and evaluates the future use of sublethal endpoints for new and emerging technologies. It builds upon presentations made at the Workshop on Sublethal Endpoints for Non-target Organism Testing for Non-Bt GE Crops (Washington DC, USA, 4–5 March 2019), and the discussions of government, academic and industry scientists convened for the purpose of reviewing the progress and status of sublethal endpoint testing in non-target organisms.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Roberts AF, Boeckman CJ, Mühl M, Romeis J, Teem JL, Hercos Valicente FH, Brown JK, Edwards MG, Levine SL, Melnick R, Rodrigues TB, Vélez AM, Zhow X, Hellmich RL

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology

Year: 2020

Volume: 8

Print publication date: 09/06/2020

Online publication date: 09/06/2020

Acceptance date: 07/05/2020

Date deposited: 18/06/2020

ISSN (electronic): 2296-4185

Publisher: Frontiers Research Foundation


DOI: 10.3389/fbioe.2020.00556


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