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Comparing the impact of conventional pesticide and use of a transgenic pest-resistant crop on the beneficial carabid beetle Pterostichus melanarius

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Evan Mulligan, Dr Natalie Ferry, Dr Gordon Port, Professor Angharad MR GatehouseORCiD


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The potential impact of a chemical pesticide control method has been compared with that of transgenic plants expressing a protease inhibitor conferring insect resistance by utilising a tritrophic system comprising the crop plant Brassica napus (L.) (Oilseed rape), the pest mollusc Deroceras reticulatum (Müller) and the predatory carabid beetle Pterostichus melanarius (Illiger). Cypermethrin, as the most widely used pesticide in UK oilseed rape (OSR) cultivation, was selected as the conventional treatment. OSR expressing a cysteine protease inhibitor, oryzacystatin-1 (OC-1), was the transgenic comparator. In feeding trials, D. reticulatum showed no significant long-term effects on measured life history parameters (survival, weight gain, food consumption) as a result of exposure to either the cypermethrin or OC-1 treatment. However, D. reticulatum was able to respond to the presence of the dietary inhibitor by producing two novel proteases following exposure to OC-1-expressing OSR. Similarly, P. melanarius showed no detectable alterations in mortality, weight gain or food consumption when feeding on D. reticulatum previously fed either pesticide-contaminated or GM plant material. Furthermore, as with the slug, a novel form of protease, approximately Mr 27 kDa, was induced in the carabid in response to feeding on slugs fed OC-1-expressing OSR. © 2006 Society of Chemical Industry.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Mulligan EA, Ferry N, Jouanin L, Walters KFA, Port GR, Gatehouse AMR

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Pest Management Science

Year: 2006

Volume: 62

Issue: 10

Pages: 999-1012

ISSN (print): 1526-498X

ISSN (electronic): 1526-4998


DOI: 10.1002/ps.1276

PubMed id: 16906504


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