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Diversity and abundance of flower-visiting insects in Bt an non-Bt cotton fields of Maputaland (Kwazulu natal province, South Africa)

Hofs J.L., Schoeman A.S., Pierre J.. 2008. International Journal of Tropical Insect Science, 28 (4) : p. 211-219.

We studied the abundance and diversity of flower-visiting insects on Bt and non-Bt cotton plants in the Makhathini Flats region of South Africa during the 2003/2004 and 2004/2005 crop seasons to detect any impact of the Bt toxin (Cry1Ac). Bt cotton cultivars produced more flowers than non-Bt cultivars regardless of the cropping conditions (farmers' fields or research station), probably due to the fact that Bt cotton is not susceptible to flower bud pests. The results obtained in both crop seasons highlighted the prevalence of honeybees (Apis mellifera L.), various Nitidulidae and a unique Meloidae species (Mylabris oculata Thunberg) as flower visiting insects in this area. No impact of the Bt phenotype on insect abundance and diversity could be drawn on the basis of our comparative results on Bt and non-Bt cotton plants, and no direct effect of these transgenic plants was actually noted. The potential role of some of the inventoried insects, especially M. oculata, in the dispersal of transgenic pollen is discussed. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : biodiversité; insecta; apis mellifera; pollinisateur; pollinisation; plante transgénique; impact sur l'environnement; bacillus thuringiensis; toxine bactérienne; flux de gènes; gossypium; afrique du sud; coton bt; mylabris

Thématique : Ecologie animale; Génétique et amélioration des plantes; Pollution

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