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Transgenic GNA expressing potato plants augment the beneficial biocontrol of Lacanobia oleracea (Lepidoptera; Noctuidae) by the parasitoid Eulophus pennicornis (Hymenoptera; Eulophidae)

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Angharad MR GatehouseORCiD


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The effect of expressing the gene encoding snowdrop lectin (Galanthus nivalis agglutinin, GNA) in transgenic potato plants, on parasitism of the phytophagous insect pest Lacanobia oleracea by the gregarious ectoparasitoid Eulophus pennicornis, was investigated in glasshouse trials. Expression of GNA (approx. 1.0% total soluble protein) by transgenic plants significantly reduced the level of pest damage, thus confirming previous studies. Furthermore, the presence of the parasitoid significantly reduced the levels of damage incurred either by the transgenic or control plants when compared to those plants grown in the absence of the parasitoid. For the GNA expressing plants the presence of the parasitoid resulted in further reductions (ca. 21%) in the level of damage caused by the pest species. The ability of the wasp to parasitise and subsequently develop on the pest larvae was not altered by the presence of GNA in the diet of the host. E. pennicornis progeny that developed on L. oleracea reared on GNA expressing plants showed no significant alteration in fecundity when compared with wasps that had developed on hosts fed on control potato plants, although mean size and longevity of female parasitoids was significantly reduced. The number of F2 progeny produced by parasitoids derived from hosts fed on GNA expressing plants was not significantly different to those produced by parasitoids from hosts fed control plants. Results from the present study demonstrate that the use of transgenic plants expressing insecticidal proteins can be compatible with the deployment of beneficial insects and that the two factors may interact in a positive manner.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Gatehouse AMR; Bell HA; Fitches EC; Marris GC; Bell J; Edwards JP; Gatehouse JA

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Transgenic Research

Year: 2001

Volume: 10

Issue: 1

Pages: 35-42

Print publication date: 01/01/2001

ISSN (print): 0962-8819

ISSN (electronic): 1573-9368

Publisher: Springer Netherlands


DOI: 10.1023/A:1008923103515

PubMed id: 11252381


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