Altered GAI activity of hybrid aspen has minimal effects on the performance of a polyphagous weevil, Polydrusus sericeus
Polydrusus sericeus. Entomologia Experimentalis Et Applicata
Genetically modified plants can have unintended effects on herbivores, even when the transgene is not explicitly devised for pest protection. These effects may lead to altered ecological relationships in areas where transgenic plants are deployed. We tested several genetically-modified hybrid aspen clone INRA 717-IB4 [Populus tremula L. · P. alba L. (Salicaceae)] lines expressing transgenic constructs with altered gibberellic acid expression for their effects on a polyphagous insect, Polydrusus sericeus (Schaller) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). Longevity, egg production, and leaf consumption were measured in laboratory assays. Only male longevity was negatively affected by foliage from genetically modified trees, and in no case was oviposition or leaf consumption significantly altered. The importance of males in population dynamics varies among species, but we do not have evidence it is a major driver in this system. Contrary to our hypothesis of increased performance on modified foliage, adult P. sericeus were rarely affected by GM foliage, suggesting that not all genetic modifications that alter secondary metabolism in plants will necessarily have a strong effect on specific insect-plant relations, supporting the view that evaluations continue to require case by case analysis.
Coyle, D.R.; Allred, A.M.; Kosola, K.R.; Raffa, K.F. 2011. Altered GAI activity of hybrid aspen has minimal effects on the performance of a polyphagous weevil, Polydrusus sericeus. Entomologia Experimentalis Et Applicata 138(2): 104-109.