Research Article

Impacts of transgenic poplar-cotton agro-ecosystems upon target pests and non-target insects under field conditions

Published: July 27, 2015
Genet. Mol. Res. 14 (3) : 8125-8136 DOI: https://doi.org/10.4238/2015.July.27.1
Cite this Article:
(2015). Impacts of transgenic poplar-cotton agro-ecosystems upon target pests and non-target insects under field conditions. Genet. Mol. Res. 14(3): gmr4304. https://doi.org/10.4238/2015.July.27.1
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Abstract

Poplar-cotton agro-ecosystems are the main agricultural planting modes of cotton fields in China. With increasing acres devoted to transgenic insect-resistant poplar and transgenic insect-resistant cotton, studies examining the effects of transgenic plants on target and non-target insects become increasingly important. We systematically surveyed populations of both target pests and non-target insects for 4 different combinations of poplar-cotton eco-systems over 3 years. Transgenic Bt cotton strongly resisted the target insects Fall webworm moth [Hyphantria cunea (Drury)], Sylepta derogata Fabrieius, and American bollworm (Heliothis armigera), but no clear impact on non-target insect cotton aphids (Aphis gossypii). Importantly, intercrops containing transgenic Pb29 poplar significantly increased the inhibitory effects of Bt cotton on Fall webworm moth in ecosystem IV. Highly resistant Pb29 poplar reduced populations of the target pests Grnsonoma minutara Hubner and non-target insect poplar leaf aphid (Chaitophorus po-pulialbae), while Fall webworm moth populations were unaffected. We determined the effects of Bt toxin from transgenic poplar and cotton on target and non-target pests in different ecosystems of cotton-poplar intercrops and identified the synergistic effects of such combinations toward both target and non-target insects.

Poplar-cotton agro-ecosystems are the main agricultural planting modes of cotton fields in China. With increasing acres devoted to transgenic insect-resistant poplar and transgenic insect-resistant cotton, studies examining the effects of transgenic plants on target and non-target insects become increasingly important. We systematically surveyed populations of both target pests and non-target insects for 4 different combinations of poplar-cotton eco-systems over 3 years. Transgenic Bt cotton strongly resisted the target insects Fall webworm moth [Hyphantria cunea (Drury)], Sylepta derogata Fabrieius, and American bollworm (Heliothis armigera), but no clear impact on non-target insect cotton aphids (Aphis gossypii). Importantly, intercrops containing transgenic Pb29 poplar significantly increased the inhibitory effects of Bt cotton on Fall webworm moth in ecosystem IV. Highly resistant Pb29 poplar reduced populations of the target pests Grnsonoma minutara Hubner and non-target insect poplar leaf aphid (Chaitophorus po-pulialbae), while Fall webworm moth populations were unaffected. We determined the effects of Bt toxin from transgenic poplar and cotton on target and non-target pests in different ecosystems of cotton-poplar intercrops and identified the synergistic effects of such combinations toward both target and non-target insects.