Impact of transgenic sweet potato on non-target species

Sweetpotato is affected by the sweetpotato weevil (Cylas spp.) which caused immense tuber yield loss in many sub-Saharan Africa countries. Management of this pest is still difficult. The International Potato Centre has introduced insecticidal proteins derived from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) into the crop through genetic engineering. This study has been set up to determine whether there are potential dangers of the Bt proteins to non-target beneficial insect species. Ladybird beetles (Delphastus catalinae), ground beetles (Poecilus chalcites) and rove beetles (Aleochara bilineata) will be collected from sweetpotato fields and used in the study. These will be fed on an artificial diet containing different Cry7Aa1 protein solutions in the laboratory. Casualties will be recorded daily for six days for the ladybird beetle and for 15 days for the remaining two non-target species. Possible impacts of transgenic sweetpotato events expressing Cry7Aa1 proteins on relevant non-target organisms (NTOs) will be determined. This information will inform environmental risk assessment decisions for the introduction of Bt sweetpotato in Africa.
La patate douce est affectée par le charançon de la patate douce (Cylas spp.) qui a provoqué une immense perte de rendement en tubercules dans de nombreux pays d’Afrique sub-saharienne. La gestion de ce ravageur est encore difficile. Le Centre International de la Patate a mis en place des protéines insecticides issues de la bactérie Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) dans les cultures grâce au génie génétique. Cette étude a été effectuée pour déterminer s’il existe des dangers possibles des protéines Bt pour des espèces non ciblées d’insectesbénéfiques. Les coccinelles (Delphastuscatalinae), les carabes (Poeciluschalcites) et les staphylins (Aleocharabilineata) seront collectés à partir des champs de patates douces et utilisés dans l’étude. Ceux-ci seront nourris avec un aliment artificiel contenant différentes solutions de protéines Cry7Aa1 dans le laboratoire. Les pertes seront enregistrées par jour pendant six jours pour la coccinelle et pendant 15 jours pour les deux autres espèces non ciblées. Les impacts possibles des événements de la patate douce transgéniques exprimant les protéines de Cry7Aa1 sur les organismes non ciblés pertinents seront déterminés. Cette information permettra d’éclairer les décisions d’évaluation des risques environnementaux pour l’introduction de la patate douce Bt en Afrique.
Extended abstracts submitted under Crop Improvement
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RUFORUM Conferences and Workshops
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The 2012 RUFORUM Biennial Conference is the third in the series. The main objective of the Biennial conferences is to provide a platform for agricultural research for development stakeholders in Africa and beyond to actively exchange findings and experiences, while at the same time learning lessons towards improving performance of the agricultural sector and ultimately people’s livelihoods. The biennial conference is RUFORUM’s most comprehensive meeting for the diversity of stakeholers in agriculture. It is especially dedicated to graduate students and their supervisors, grantees in RUFORUM member universities and alumni. It is a platform for peer review, quality control, mentorship, networking and shared learning. The third Biennial Conference was attended by 657 participants.This record contains an extended abstract accepted under the theme of Crop Improvement