The effects of Bt Cry1Ah toxin on worker honeybees (Apis mellifera ligustica and Apis cerana cerana)
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We conducted feeding trials in a laboratory setting to test for possible adverse effects of Cry1Ah toxin mixed thoroughly into sugar syrup (60% w/v sucrose solution) at three concentrations (10 μg/mL, 10 ng/mL, and 1 ng/mL) on the survival, pollen consumption, and hypopharyngeal gland mass of Apis mellifera ligustica and Apis cerana cerana. No significant differences in the survival of A. mellifera or A. cerana were found among groups fed on sugar syrup with or without Cry1Ah toxin. No significant differences were found in the longevity of A. mellifera fed sugar syrup with Cry1Ah toxin compared with the control. No differences were detected in the pollen consumption of A. mellifera ligustica and A. cerana cerana. No significant differences were found in the hypopharyngeal gland weight of 12-day-old honeybees A. mellifera ligustica and A. cerana cerana fed on sugar syrup with Cry1Ah toxin compared with the control. The implications of these results are discussed in terms of the risks of transgenic corn crops for honeybees.
KeywordsApis mellifera ligustica Apis cerana cerana Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ah toxin risk assessment
We thank two anonymous reviewers for comments that improved the manuscript. This research was supported by the Major State Basic Research Development Program of China (no. 2007CB109203), the Fund for Modern Agro-industry Technology Research System (nycytx-43-kxj6), and the Basic Scientific Program of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science (no. 0032010046).
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