Bt maize(corn) more susceptible to aphids
Friday, April 24, 2009

Research into the environmental impact of genetically modified crops appear to accelerate. Between a number of recent studies, a Swiss study, published in the journal Plose ONE, greater susceptibility to aphids documented under GM maize lines than for their conventional counterparts.

The aphid (Rhopalosiphum) was Made under observation . Researchers at the University of Neuchâtel studied six lines of Bt maize with an insecticidal gene of Bacillus thurigiensis descendant. Although highly toxic to caterpillars feeding, the bacterial genes produced toxin affects aphids not.

Researchers at the University National Center of Competence in Research (NCCR) Plant Survival believe that the introduction of the bacterial gene produces a number of changes in chemical properties of the plant in addition to the production of the Bt toxin.

The economic impact of this discovery are mixed. In some regions, aphids are seen as desirable. For example, the honeydew they produce can nourish beneficial insects, such as the parasitic wasp Cotesia marginiventris, which explains its eggs in caterpillars that feed on the plants. However, the aphids are seen as pests in regions where they damage plants by transmitting viruses, a problem that is compounded by the Bt maize.

Original Source, Enn.
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Source: ditkannietwaarzijn
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