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Pest Manag Sci. 2018 Jul;74(7):1646-1653. doi: 10.1002/ps.4856. Epub 2018 Mar 2.

Coexistence of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt)-transgenic and conventional rice affects insect abundance and plant fitness in fields.

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Institute of Plant Protection, Jiangxi Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Nanchang, China.
State Key Laboratory of Environmental Criteria and Risk Assessment, Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, Beijing, China.
Plant Protection and Quarantine Station of Dayu, Ganzhou, China.



As genetically modified (GM) crops are cultivated worldwide, concerns are emerging about the ecological consequences of the coexistence of transgenic and non-transgenic crops in fields. We first conducted field experiments using insect-resistant transgenic rice expressing Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt-transgenic rice) and its counterpart conventional rice (Oryza sativa L.) with or without insecticide spraying in 2013 and 2014. In 2015 and 2016, Bt-transgenic and conventional rice plants were employed in pure and mixed cages, with an infestation of the target insect (Chilo suppressalis) and with insecticide spraying as the control treatment to prevent target insect infestation.


The presence of Bt-transgenic rice decreased the abundance of target insects but did not affect non-target insects and predators in fields. Compared with conventional rice, Bt-transgenic rice showed more empty seeds but comparable seed production in cages. The infestation of target insects significantly decreased the plant fitness of conventional rice in pure cages, but did not affect its fitness when conventional rice coexisted with Bt-transgenic rice. In mixed cages, the presence of Bt-transgenic rice decreased the abundance of target insects and the percentage of dead sheaths in conventional rice.


The presence of Bt-transgenic rice benefits the growth and reproduction of non-transgenic rice in fields because of a decreased abundance of target insects. © 2018 Society of Chemical Industry.


Bt-transgenic rice; Chilo suppressalis; coexistence; plant fitness; target and non-target insects

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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