Environ. Biosafety Res.
Volume 6, Number 4, October-December 2007
|Page(s)||271 - 278|
|Published online||28 November 2007|
Does pea lectin expressed transgenically in oilseed rape (Brassica napus) influence honey bee (Apis mellifera) larvae?
Department of Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, P.O. Box 7044, SE-750 07 Uppsala, Sweden
Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
The European honey bee (Apis mellifera) is important both for pollination and for honey production. Pollen is the major protein source for bees, which exposes them directly to changes in pollen quality e.g. through genetic engineering. In order to create a worst case scenario regarding pea lectin (PSL) expressed transgenically in oilseed rape anthers and pollen, the maximum amount of dried pollen that could be mixed in an artificial diet without negatively affecting larval performance (1.5% w/w) was fed to bee larvae. Pollen from two transgenic plant lines expressing PSL up to 1.2% of total soluble protein and pollen from one non-transgenic line was added to the same diet and used as a pollen control. When these three pollen diets and the control diet (without added pollen) were compared, no negative effect from the pollen of the transgenic plants could be detected on larval mortality, weight, or development time. An increased weight and a reduced developmental time were recorded for larvae on all diets containing pollen when compared to the diet without pollen.
Key words: lectin / PSL / transgenic oilseed rape / honey bee larvae
© ISBR, EDP Sciences, 2007