Arthropod-Plant Interactions

, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 255–261

Foraging activity of bumblebees (Bombus terrestris L.) on Bt-expressing eggplants

  • Salvatore Arpaia
  • Antonio De Cristofaro
  • Emilio Guerrieri
  • Simone Bossi
  • Francesco Cellini
  • Grazia M. Di Leo
  • Giacinto S. Germinara
  • Luigi Iodice
  • Massimo E. Maffei
  • Angelo Petrozza
  • Raffaele Sasso
  • Silvia Vitagliano
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s11829-011-9144-5

Cite this article as:
Arpaia, S., De Cristofaro, A., Guerrieri, E. et al. Arthropod-Plant Interactions (2011) 5: 255. doi:10.1007/s11829-011-9144-5
  • 382 Downloads

Abstract

A greenhouse experiment was setup to study foraging behavior of the bumblebee Bombus terrestris L. on Cry3Bb-expressing genetically modified (GM) eggplants and their near-isogenic control. Commonly, more bumblebees visited GM eggplants compared to near-isogenic control, but this difference was only marginally significant. The mean length of feeding bouts was similar on the two treatments. Neither the number of flowers produced nor their size could explain bumblebees’ tendency to prefer GM eggplants. Volatile compounds were extracted from five plants per genotype and separated using gas chromatography. Thirteen compounds were identified and five of them appeared significantly more abundant in GM eggplants. Six of the identified compounds [(+)-limonene, Z-jasmone, p-cymene, α-pinene, methyl-salicilate, and (−)-limonene] were tested in electrophysiological bioassays with antennas detached from young bumblebees, and a response was recorded in all six cases. Experimental results indicate that pollination activity of bumblebees is compatible with this GM eggplant event as a food source and that chemical cues may have an important role in plant identification. The implications for environmental risk assessment of GM plants are discussed.

Keywords

Genetically modified plants Pollination Biosafety Non-target organisms Environmental impact 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Salvatore Arpaia
    • 1
  • Antonio De Cristofaro
    • 2
  • Emilio Guerrieri
    • 3
  • Simone Bossi
    • 4
  • Francesco Cellini
    • 5
  • Grazia M. Di Leo
    • 6
  • Giacinto S. Germinara
    • 7
  • Luigi Iodice
    • 3
  • Massimo E. Maffei
    • 4
  • Angelo Petrozza
    • 5
  • Raffaele Sasso
    • 3
    • 8
  • Silvia Vitagliano
    • 2
  1. 1.ENEA, Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development, UTTRI-BIOTECRotondella (MT)Italy
  2. 2.Dipartimento di Scienze Animali, Vegetali e dell’AmbienteUniversità degli Studi del MoliseCampobassoItaly
  3. 3.Istituto per la Protezione delle PianteConsiglio Nazionale delle RicerchePortici (NA)Italy
  4. 4.Dipartimento di Biologia Vegetale, Unità di Fisiologia VegetaleUniversità di TorinoTurinItaly
  5. 5.Metapontum AgrobiosMetaponto (MT)Italy
  6. 6.ENEA, Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development, Research Centre TrisaiaRotondella (MT)Italy
  7. 7.Department of Agro-Environmental Sciences, Chemistry and Plant ProtectionUniversità di FoggiaFoggiaItaly
  8. 8.ENEA Centro Ricerche Casaccia, UTAGRI-ECOOsteria Nuova (RM)Italy

Personalised recommendations