Transgenic Research

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 203–214 | Cite as

Impact of Bt-corn MON88017 in comparison to three conventional lines on Trigonotylus caelestialium (Kirkaldy) (Heteroptera: Miridae) field densities

  • Stefan RauschenEmail author
  • Eva Schultheis
  • Sibylle Pagel-Wieder
  • Ingolf Schuphan
  • Sabine Eber
Original Paper


In Europe, Bt-corn resistant against the European Corn Borer has until now been the only genetically modified plant to be grown commercially. With the advent of the Western Corn Rootworm Bt-corn varieties with resistance against Coleoptera will become important. The cultivation of Bt-plants may have negative impacts on non-target organisms, i.e. all species not explicitly targeted by a given Bt-crop. One prominent non-target group in corn are the herbivorous plant bugs (Heteroptera: Miridae). They are common, abundant and exposed to the Cry-protein. We therefore assessed the potential impact of the cultivation of the Cry3Bb1-expressing Bt-corn variety MON88017 and three conventional varieties on this group. Trigonotylus caelestialium (Kirkaldy) was the most abundant plant bug at the experimental field. There was no evidence for a negative impact of MON88017 on this species, despite its considerable exposure to Cry3Bb1 demonstrated with ELISA. The conventional corn varieties, however, had a consistent and significant influence on the field densities of this species over all three growing seasons.


Bt-corn Cry3Bb1 Non-target organisms Plant bugs Trigonotylus caelestialium 



The authors thank the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research for financial support (grant 0313279) and the Bavarian State Research Center for Agriculture for providing and maintaining the field site.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefan Rauschen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Eva Schultheis
    • 1
  • Sibylle Pagel-Wieder
    • 2
  • Ingolf Schuphan
    • 1
  • Sabine Eber
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Environmental Research (Biologie V)RWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany
  2. 2.Institute for Applied Biotechnology in the TropicsUniversity of GöttingenGottingenGermany

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