Impact of transgenic on biocontrol agents of major insect pests- A review
Prasun Karmakar and Soumita Pal
Transgenic or genetically modified plants that express insecticidal proteins have become an important component in integrated pest management programmes worldwide. As insecticidal GM crops target insect pests, an important part of the environmental risk assessment is their potential impact on non-target arthropods including biocontrol agents. The review article summarizes previously published studies on the impact of transgenic on biocontrol agents of major insect pests. Biocontrol agents can be exposed to the plant-produced insecticidal proteins through various routes, but mainly by direct exposure as a result of herbivory on transgenic plant parts expressing insecticidal proteins or secondary exposure through feeding on target or non-target species fed upon transgenic plants. Till date, no direct detrimental effects of transgenic plants expressing insecticidal proteins on the abundance or efficiency of biocontrol agents have been reported. Indirect negative effects on developmental parameters of biocontrol agents have been largely due to early mortality, slow growth and poor nutritional quality of prey host fed upon transgenic plants.