Effects of Bt Plants on Non-target Organisms

A long-term goal of our work is to provide science-based information to regulatory agencies on the environmental impacts of insect resistant genetically-modified (IRGM) plants and traditional insecticides on nontarget organisms, especially beneficial arthropods of important crop pests species. Without such information, regulatory agencies cannot ensure the environmental safety of the products they regulate and will be subjected to criticisms.

Listed below are a few of our publications in this area (see complete publication list above).

  1. Su, H-H, J. Tian, S. E. Narnajo, J. Romeis, R. L. Hellmich and A. M. Shelton. 2015. Bacillus thuringiensis plants expressing Cry1Ac, Cry2Ab and Cry1F do not harm the assassin bug, Zelus renardii. J. Applied. Entomol. 139: 23-30. doi: 10.1111/jen.12184
  2. Gautam, S., D. Olmstead, T. Jun-ce, H. Collins and A. M. Shelton.  2014.  Tri-trophic studies using Cry1Ac-resistant Plutella xylostella demonstrate no adverse effects of Cry1Ac on the entomopathogenic nematode, Heterorhabditis bacteriophora. J. Econ. Entomol. 107: 115-120 [PDF]
  3. Tian, J., L-P. Long, X-P. Wang, S. Naranjo, J. Romeis, R. Hellmich, P. Wang, and A. M. Shelton. 2014.  Using resistant prey demonstrates that Bt plants producing Cry1Ac, Cry2Ab and Cry1F have no negative effects on Geocoris punctipes and Orius insidiosus.  Environ Entomol. 43: 242-251. [PDF]
  4. Romeis, J., R. A. M. Shelton and M. McLean, 2013.  When bad science makes good headlines: case of non-target organisms and genetically engineered crop.  Nature Biotech.  37: 386-387. [PDF]
  5. Tian, J., H. L. Collins, J. Romeis, S. E. Naranjo, R. L. Hellmich and A. M. Shelton.  2012.  Using field-evolved resistance to Cry1F maize in a lepidopteran pest to demonstrate no adverse effects of Cry1F on one of its major predators.  Transgenic Research DOI 10.1007/s11248-012-9604-4. (PDF reprint here)
  6. Li, Y., J. Romeis, P. Wang, Y. Peng, and A. M. Shelton.  2011.  A comprehensive assessment of the potential effects of Bt cotton on Coleomegilla maculata demonstrates no detrimental effects by Cry1Ac and Cry2Ab.  PLoS ONE 6(7): e22185. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0022185 (PDF reprint here)
  7. Romies, J. R. Hellmich, M. Candolfi, K. Carstens, A. de Schrijer, A. Gatehouse, R. Herman, J Huesing, M. McLean, A. Raybould, A. Shelton and A. Waggoner. 2011.  Recommendations for the design of laboratory studies on non-target arthropods for risk assessment of genetically engineered plants. Transgenic Research 20:1-22. (PDF reprint here)

For an overview of Bt plants, see: Romeis, J., A. M. Shelton and G. G. Kennedy. 2008.  Integration of insect-resistant genetically modified crops within IPM programs.  Springer.  Dordrecht, The Netherlands. 441 pp.

Biology, ecology and management of insect pests affectiing vegetables and other crops