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Record ID
Date of creation
2012-05-04 15:50 UTC (dina.abdelhakim@cbd.int)
Date of last update
2012-05-08 18:03 UTC (dina.abdelhakim@cbd.int)
Date of publication
2012-05-08 18:03 UTC (dina.abdelhakim@cbd.int)

General Information
The impact of transgenic plants on natural enemies: a critical review of laboratory studies
G.L. Lövei and S. Arpaia
Author’s contact information
Gabor Lovei

Department of Integrated Pest Management
Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences
Flakkebjerg Research Centre
DK-4200 Slagelse, Denmark

Tel.: +45 58113436; Fax: +45 58113301

E-mail: gabor.lovei@agrsci.dk

Organization(s) involved in the publication of this resource
Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences (DIAS)
Blichers Allé
Postbox 50
Denmark, DK-8830
Phone:+45 89 99 3500
Fax:+45 89 99 3501
Url:Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences (DIAS) - Danish,Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences (DIAS) - English
  • English
Publication date
Summary, abstract or table of contents

We reviewed laboratory tests which studied the impact of genetically modified plants on arthropod natural enemies. A total of 18 species of predators and 14 species of parasitoids have been tested, most in only a few experiments. Certain groups (braconid wasps) or species (the green lacewing, Chrysoperla carnea) have attracted much effort, while representatives of others, including whole orders (e.g., Diptera), have never had a species tested. We conclude that laboratory tests are not the 'worst case' scenarios intended by the experimental designs, and are not often ecologically realistic: they typically provided ad libitum feeding, no prey choice, single prey type, no combination of stress factors and usually uniform temperatures. None of these are representative of field conditions, yet most could be easily mimicked in more complex laboratory tests. In most cases (94.6%), the studies were unable to indicate the level of power required to detect any impact. Small sample size and large variability are factors that mask all but very large differences in potential effects. For predators, 126 parameters were quantified, most commonly including survival/mortality (37 cases), development time (22), and body mass/size (20). For parasitoids, 128 parameters were quantified, the majority involving lectins or proteinase inhibitors. Most frequent measurements were: fecundity (23 experiments), adult longevity, extent of parasitism (17 each), body size, mortality, and larval development time. An aggregative scoring (summarising all quantified parameters) indicated that the laboratory tests quantified a remarkable number of cases (30% for predators, 39.8% for parasitoids), where the impacts of the genetically modified plant were significantly negative. These involve various parameters, organisms, test methods, and significance levels, but collectively they indicate that the use of genetically modified crops may result in negative effects on the natural enemies of crop pests.
Thematic areas
Background material to the “Guidance on risk assessment of living modified organisms”
Is this document is recommend as background material for the “Guidance on Risk Assessment of Living Modified Organisms”
Section(s) of the “Guidance on Risk Assessment of Living Modified Organisms” this background material is relevant
Additional Information
Type of resource
  • Article (journal / magazine / newspaper)
  • Report / Review / Fact sheet / Notes
DOI: 10.1111/j.0013-8703.2005.00235.x
Publisher and its location
The Netherlands Entomological Society, University of Amsterdam
© 2005 The Netherlands Entomological Society
14 page PDF
Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata
Keywords and any other relevant information
Keywords: transgenic plants;natural enemies;predators;parasitoids;laboratory tests;life history;stress factors;genetic modification

Citation: Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 114: 1-14, 2005