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The outbreaks of non-target mirid bugs promote arthropod pest suppression in Bt cotton agroecosystems.

08:00 EDT 14th August 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "The outbreaks of non-target mirid bugs promote arthropod pest suppression in Bt cotton agroecosystems."

The adoption of Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) crops has improved crop yield, reduced chemical insecticide use, and induced an increase in farmer profits; however, some concerns persist about their potential environmental risks, including the impact on nontarget arthropods (Romeis et al., 2008). In China, Bt cotton was first grown commercially in 1997. As the levels of cultivated Bt cotton increased, populations of the target pest Helicoverpa armigera were found to have substantially declined (Wu et al., 2008). In addition, reduced insecticide use in Bt cotton has shown positive side effects, such as increased pest biocontrol services provided by natural enemies (Lu et al., 2012), but also negative side effects, such as mirid bug outbreaks (Lu et al., 2010). How this shift in pest status may impact interspecific arthropod interactions in Bt cotton needs to be further investigated (Zeilinger et al., 2011; Hagenbucher et al., 2013; Zhang et al., 2018). Mirid bug feeding often causes tattered leaves on host plants, suggesting that interspecific competition with other leaf-feeding insects may occur. Furthermore, mirid bugs may also prey on the cotton aphid Aphis gossypii and other arthropod pests (Jiang et al., 2015). Hence, mirid bugs have the potential to act as arthropod biocontrol agents during their outbreaks. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

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Name: Plant biotechnology journal
ISSN: 1467-7652
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