Biodiversity & Conservation

, Volume 14, Issue 14, pp 3487–3496 | Cite as

The Impacts of the Pollen of Insect-resistant Transgenic Cotton on Honeybees

  • Biao Liu
  • ChongRen XuEmail author
  • Fengming Yan
  • Ruizhong Gong


Transgenic cotton containing a synthetic version of the insecticidal toxin gene from Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki has been planted in China in a large scale and may have adverse impacts on honeybees. The pollens of the transgenic cotton and the non-transgenic parental cotton were collected and their impacts on worker bees were tested. Experimental results showed that the transgenic cotton pollen had no oral acute toxic effects on worker bees. No significant difference was observed in the superoxide dismutases activity and the longevity of worker bees fed with diets containing the transgenic cotton pollen or non-transgenic parental cotton pollen. The results of our experiment indicate that the transgenic cotton has no direct adverse impacts on honeybees. Further work needs to be carried out to evaluate the long-term and indirect impacts of the transgenic cotton on honeybees.


Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) Honeybee Impact Pollen Transgenic cotton 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Biao Liu
    • 1
    • 2
  • ChongRen Xu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Fengming Yan
    • 1
  • Ruizhong Gong
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Environmental Biology and Ecology, College of Life SciencesPeking UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Division of Biodiversity Conservation, State Environmental Protection Administration of ChinaNanjing Institute of Environmental SciencesNanjingChina

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