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Record information and status
Record ID
Date of creation
2012-05-04 17:54 UTC (dina.abdelhakim@cbd.int)
Date of last update
2012-05-08 14:31 UTC (andrew.bowers@cbd.int)
Date of publication
2012-05-08 14:31 UTC (andrew.bowers@cbd.int)

General Information
Effects of Plants Genetically Modified for Insect Resistance on Nontarget Organisms
Maureen O’Callaghan, Travis R. Glare, Elisabeth P.J. Burgess, and Louise A. Malone
Author’s contact information
Maureen O'Callaghan & Travis R. Glare

AgResearch, PO Box 60, Lincoln
Canterbury, New Zealand

email: maureen.ocallaghan@agresearch.co.nz; travis.glare@agresearch.co.nz

Elisabeth P.J. Burgess & Louise A. Malone

HortResearch, Private Bag 92169
Auckland, New Zealand

email: eburgess@hortresearch.co.nz; lmalone@hortresearch.co.nz
  • English
Publication date
Summary, abstract or table of contents

Insect resistance, based on Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) endotoxins, is the second most widely used trait (after herbicide resistance) in commercial genetically modified (GM) crops. Other modifications for insect resistance, such as proteinase inhibitors and lectins, are also being used in many experimental crops. The extensive testing on nontarget plant-feeding insects and beneficial species that has accompanied the long-term and wide-scale use of Bt plants has not detected significant adverse effects. GMplants expressing other insect-resistant proteins that have a broader spectrum of activity have been tested on only a limited number of nontarget species. Little is known about the persistence of transgene-derived proteins in soil, with the exception of Bt endotoxins, which can persist in soil for several months. Bt plants appear to have little impact on soil biota such as earthworms, collembolans, and general soil microflora. Further research is required on the effects of GM plants on soil processes such as decomposition. Assessment of nontarget impacts is an essential part of the risk assessment process for insect-resistant GM plants.
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: 10.1146/annurev.ento.50.071803.130352
Publisher and its location
Annual Reviews
Copyright © 2005 by Annual Reviews
24 page PDF
Annual Review of Entomology
Keywords and any other relevant information
Key Words Bacillus thuringiensis, environmental impact, risk assessment,
natural enemies, pollinators, soil biota

Citation: Annu. Rev. Entomol. 2005. 50:271-92