Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)
Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2020

Effect of Bt toxin Cry1Ab on two freshwater caddisfly shredders - an attempt to establish dose-effect relationships through food-spiking

Pott, Antonia; Bundschuh, Mirco; Bundschuh, Rebecca; Otto, Mathias; Schulz, Ralf


Genetically modified organisms (GMOs), which produce Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxins, are widely used in agriculture in some parts of the world. Despite this, ecotoxicological methods, tailored to GMOs, are lacking to assess effects on aquatic environments. With the objective to investigate a food-related exposure pathway for aquatic shredders, we used a new food-spiking method while caddisfly larvae (Chaetopteryx spec., Sericostoma spec.) served as test species. Pure Cry1Ab toxins were spiked on black alder leaf discs and subsequently used in a feeding experiment. The toxin did not influence larval mortality compared to the control. The results, however, showed significant effects on larval lipid content (Chaetopteryx spec.) and development (Sericostoma spec.) at concentrations of 17.2 and 132.4 ng Cry1Ab/mg leaf, respectively. These changes are indicative for impacts on the fitness of the specimen and thus relevant in a risk assessment context. Ultimately, the food-spiking method allowed applying different Bt toxin concentrations leading to the establishment of dose-response relationships for various response variables. The use of long test durations and sublethal endpoints (consumption, lipid content, growth, larval instars) is, moreover, advisable when testing GMO effects.

Published in

Scientific Reports
2020, Volume: 10, number: 1, article number: 5262

    Associated SLU-program

    SLU Plant Protection Network

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Fish and Aquacultural Science

    Publication identifier


    Permanent link to this page (URI)