, 20:2090 | Cite as

Application of a novel method PCR-ligase detection reaction for tracking predator—prey trophic links in insect-resistant GM rice ecosystem

  • Kai Li
  • Junce Tian
  • Qinxi Wang
  • Qiang Chen
  • Mao Chen
  • Huan Wang
  • Yuxun Zhou
  • Yufa Peng
  • Junhua Xiao
  • Gongyin Ye


Insect-resistant genetically modified (IRGM) rice is on the verge of commercial release in China, however, its potential non-target effect on non-target insect natural enemies remains controversial. Tracking trophic interactions between predators and preys in IRGM rice ecosystem can provide new insights into better understanding of the ecological risks of IRGM rice. In the present study, a novel method based on ligase detection reaction (LDR), PCR-LDR was introduced to track 15 prey species in the gut of a predaceous spider Pirata subpiraticus, a dominant natural enemy in rice field. Our results indicated that PCR-LDR could provide high specificity and sensitivity in tracking prey-predator interactions in rice ecosystems. PCR-LDR could detect as little as 1,000th of DNA mixture. Reliable detection of DNA samples of prey species using PCR-LDR could be significantly affected by digestion time and prey species. In the analysis of 200 field-collected P. subpiraticus and 105 field-collected Tetragnatha maxillosa individuals using PCR-LDR, prey remains were identified in 78.3 and 74.3% of the individuals, respectively, from which significant predation differences between the two spider species were observed. Predation behavior of the spider species was not significantly different between Bt and non-Bt control rice lines. These results indicated that PCR-LDR can be used as an important tool for ecological studies, especially on the interactions between predators and preys in IRGM rice or other similar ecosystems.


Gut analysis Multiple detection PCR-LDR Prey Predator Transgenic rice 



This work is funded by the National Program on Key Basic Research Project from the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (973 Program, 2007CB109202) and National Natural Science Foundation of China grant (30700529, 30671377) and the Special Research Projects for Developing Transgenic Plants (2008ZX08011-01).

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (TXT 30 kb)
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Supplementary material 2 (DOC 51 kb)
10646_2011_789_MOESM3_ESM.doc (81 kb)
Supplementary material 3 (DOC 81 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kai Li
    • 1
  • Junce Tian
    • 2
  • Qinxi Wang
    • 1
  • Qiang Chen
    • 1
  • Mao Chen
    • 2
  • Huan Wang
    • 3
  • Yuxun Zhou
    • 1
  • Yufa Peng
    • 4
  • Junhua Xiao
    • 1
  • Gongyin Ye
    • 2
    • 5
  1. 1.Institute of Biological Sciences and BiotechnologyDonghua UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Rice Biology, Ministry of Agriculture Key Laboratory of Molecular Biology of Crop Pathogens and Insects, Institute of Insect SciencesZhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina
  3. 3.Shanghai Vocational and Technical College of Agriculture and ForestryShanghaiChina
  4. 4.State Key Laboratory for Biology of Plant Diseases and Insect Pests, Institute of Plant ProtectionChinese Academy of Agricultural SciencesBeijingChina
  5. 5.Institute of Insect Sciences, College of Agriculture and BiotechnologyZhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina

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