Maize plants expressing dsRNA for the management of Diabrotica virgifera virgifera are likely to be commercially available by the end of this decade. Honey bees, Apis mellifera, can potentially be exposed to pollen from transformed maize expressing dsRNA. Consequently, evaluation of the biological impacts of RNAi in honey bees is a fundamental component for ecological risk assessment. The insecticidal activity of a known lethal dsRNA target for D. v. virgifera, the vATPase subunit A, was evaluated in larval and adult honey bees. Activity of both D. v. virgifera (. Dvv)- and A. mellifera (. Am)-specific dsRNA was tested by dietary exposure to dsRNA. Larval development, survival, adult eclosion, adult life span and relative gene expression were evaluated. The results of these tests indicated that Dvv vATPase-A dsRNA has limited effects on larval and adult honey bee survival. Importantly, no effects were observed upon exposure of Am vATPase-A dsRNA suggesting that the lack of response involves factors other than sequence specificity. The results from this study provide guidance for future RNAi risk analyses and for the development of a risk assessment framework that incorporates similar hazard assessments.
|Number of pages||8|
|State||Published - Feb 1 2016|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors would like to acknowledge Erin Ingram, Lizette Dahlgren, and Huipeng Pan for recommendations with honey bee bioassays, and Tian Yu for bioinformatics support. This work was supported by the Biotechnology Risk Assessment Grant Program Competitive Grant No. 2011-33522-30749 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture .
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd.
- Diabrotica virgifera virgifera
- Non-target arthropod
- RNAi risk assessment
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Engineering
- Environmental Chemistry
- Chemistry (all)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis