Eur. J. Entomol. 108 (4): 547-552, 2011 | 10.14411/eje.2011.070

Effect of insect-resistant transgenic maize on growth and development, utilization of nutrients and in vivo activity of the detoxification enzymes of the Asian corn borer, Ostrinia furnacalis (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae)

Min Juan SHI, Pei LING LU, Xiao Li SHI, Yi Zhong YANG*
School of Horticulture and Plant Protection, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou 225009, China

There is little systematic research on the effect of transgenic maize expressing Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxins on insect survival and the response in vivo of their detoxification enzymes. Results of laboratory bioassays indicate that the whorl leaves of transgenic maize lines G03-2396 and G03-2739 significantly affected the survival of neonate and third instar larvae of the Asian corn borer, Ostrinia furnacalis (Güenée). Neonate mortality two days after being fed on G03-2739 was 72.5% and exceeded 92.5% four days later. The percentage mortality of third instar larvae six days after being fed whorl leaves from G03-2396 exceeded 65%. The resistance of whorl leaves to insect attack was greater than that of maize-ears, but less effective against attacks by third instar larvae. Neonate development was more prolonged when they were fed on whorl leaves of both the transgenic maize lines. In contrast, low pupation (<80% of that recorded in the controls), ecolosion and fecundity were recorded following ingestion of maize-ears, with pupal weights 10-14 mg lower than that of controls. The growth rates of third instar larvae recorded three and six days after feeding on whorl leaves were lower, but food utilization, conversion and relative metabolism were not significantly affected. Relative food ingestion, relative growth rate and other nutritional indicators of third instar larvae were significantly lower six days after the ingestion of ears and that of fifth instar larvae after three days. In vivo activity of carboxylesterase was decreased to a greater degree after three days when the larvae were fed on whorl leaves than ears, with no significant effect on fifth instar larvae. Furthermore, in vivo activity of glutathione S-transferase (GST) of third instar larvae was significantly affected following the ingestion of whorl leaves. These results are discussed in the context of the literature on the resistance of transgenic plants and of improving the resistance of plants to attack by the different larval stages of insects.

Keywords: Lepidoptera, Pyralidae, Ostrinia furnacalis, detoxification enzyme, growth and development, insect-resistant transgenic maize, nutritional indicators

Received: November 8, 2010; Accepted: June 14, 2011; Published: October 3, 2011

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