Main content area

Ingestion of Bt rice pollen does not reduce the survival or hypopharyngeal gland development of Apis mellifera adults

Wang, Yuanyuan, Dai, Pingli, Chen, Xiuping, Romeis, Jörg, Shi, Jianrong, Peng, Yufa, Li, Yunhe
Environmental toxicology and chemistry 2017 v.36 no.5 pp. 1243-1248
Apis mellifera, Bacillus thuringiensis, Oryza sativa, adults, arsenates, bovine serum albumin, diet, honey bees, hypopharyngeal glands, ingestion, planting, pollen, rice, risk, soybeans, sucrose, transgenic plants, trypsin inhibitors, worker bees
Because of its ecological and economic importance, the honey bee Apis mellifera is commonly used to assess the environmental risk of insect‐resistant, genetically modified plants. In the present study, feeding‐exposure experiments were used to determine whether pollen from transgenic rice harms A. mellifera worker bees. In 1 experiment, the survival and mean acinus diameter of hypopharyngeal glands of adult bees were similar when bees were fed on pollen from Bt rice lines or from a non‐Bt rice line, but bee survival was significantly reduced when they received pollen that was mixed with potassium arsenate as a positive control. In a second experiment, bee survival and hypopharyngeal gland development were not reduced when adult bees were fed on non‐Bt pollen and a sucrose solution supplemented with Cry2A at 400 µg/g, Cry1C at 50 µg/g, or bovine serum albumin (BSA) at 400 µg/g, but bee survival and hypopharyngeal gland development were reduced when the diet was supplemented with soybean trypsin inhibitor as a positive control. In both experiments, the uptake of Cry proteins by adult bees was confirmed. Overall, the results indicate that the planting of Bt rice lines expressing Cry2A or Cry1C protein poses a negligible risk to A. mellifera worker bees. Environ Toxicol Chem 2017;36:1243–1248. © 2016 SETAC