Apidologie

, Volume 43, Issue 5, pp 549–560

Effects of multiple Bt proteins and GNA lectin on in vitro-reared honey bee larvae

Authors

    • Department of Animal Ecology and Tropical Biology, BiocentreUniversity of Würzburg
  • Stephan Härtel
    • Department of Animal Ecology and Tropical Biology, BiocentreUniversity of Würzburg
  • Dirk Babendreier
    • CABI-Europe Switzerland
  • Werner von der Ohe
    • Institut für Bienenkunde (Institute for Apidology)LAVES (Lower Saxony State Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety)
  • Ingolf Steffan-Dewenter
    • Department of Animal Ecology and Tropical Biology, BiocentreUniversity of Würzburg
Original article

DOI: 10.1007/s13592-012-0123-3

Cite this article as:
Hendriksma, H.P., Härtel, S., Babendreier, D. et al. Apidologie (2012) 43: 549. doi:10.1007/s13592-012-0123-3

Abstract

The honey bee is a key non-target arthropod in environmental risk assessments of genetically modified crops. We analyzed for the first time combined effects of three Bt proteins conferring insect resistances, and a CP4-protein conferring an herbicide resistance as simultaneously expressed in one GM maize. Furthermore, the biosafety of Galanthus nivalis agglutinin (GNA lectin), a candidate protein for pest control was tested. Under worst-case exposure scenario, by using controlled in vitro larvae rearing, the combination of Bt proteins showed no adverse effects on bee larvae. In contrast, the GNA lectin was toxic at a 144 h LD50 of 16.3 μg/larva. The prepupal weight was found to differ between the larvae collection days and between the colonies used for the experiment, explaining up to five times more data variance than the protein treatments (N = 709 prepupae). In conclusion, neither single nor a mix of different Bt proteins were found harmful to honey bee larvae.

Keywords

Apis mellifera Bacillus thuringiensis environmental risk assessment genetically modified crops Cry protein

Supplementary material

13592_2012_123_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (2.6 mb)
Supplement P Photographs of the in vitro rearing experiments (PDF 2709 kb)
13592_2012_123_MOESM2_ESM.doc (44 kb)
Supplement S Post hoc survival statistics between treatment differences (DOC 44 kb)
13592_2012_123_MOESM3_ESM.doc (32 kb)
Supplement W Post hoc statistics on prepupal weight (DOC 32 kb)

Copyright information

© INRA, DIB and Springer-Verlag, France 2012