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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Oct 12;107(41):17645-50. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1006925107. Epub 2010 Sep 27.

Occurrence of maize detritus and a transgenic insecticidal protein (Cry1Ab) within the stream network of an agricultural landscape.

Author information

1
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556, USA. tank.1@nd.edu

Abstract

Widespread planting of maize throughout the agricultural Midwest may result in detritus entering adjacent stream ecosystems, and 63% of the 2009 US maize crop was genetically modified to express insecticidal Cry proteins derived from Bacillus thuringiensis. Six months after harvest, we conducted a synoptic survey of 217 stream sites in Indiana to determine the extent of maize detritus and presence of Cry1Ab protein in the stream network. We found that 86% of stream sites contained maize leaves, cobs, husks, and/or stalks in the active stream channel. We also detected Cry1Ab protein in stream-channel maize at 13% of sites and in the water column at 23% of sites. We found that 82% of stream sites were adjacent to maize fields, and Geographical Information Systems analyses indicated that 100% of sites containing Cry1Ab-positive detritus in the active stream channel had maize planted within 500 m during the previous crop year. Maize detritus likely enters streams throughout the Corn Belt; using US Department of Agriculture land cover data, we estimate that 91% of the 256,446 km of streams/rivers in Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana are located within 500 m of a maize field. Maize detritus is common in low-gradient stream channels in northwestern Indiana, and Cry1Ab proteins persist in maize leaves and can be measured in the water column even 6 mo after harvest. Hence, maize detritus, and associated Cry1Ab proteins, are widely distributed and persistent in the headwater streams of a Corn Belt landscape.

PMID:
20876106
PMCID:
PMC2955116
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.1006925107
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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