Cells repair spinal cord


In the first of a series of field trials designed to assess the effects of pollen from Bacillus thuringiensis toxin (Bt) transgenic crops on nontarget insects, researchers have found that black swallowtail butterfly larvae are unlikely to be harmed by the pollen. These findings contrast with those from a laboratory study on monarch butterflies published last year that caused widespread public concern about the environmental effects of Bt pollen (Nat. Biotechnol. 17, 627, 1999). In the new study, which will appear in an upcoming issue of Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, scientists at the University of Illinois (Urbana, IL) reared black swallowtail larvae on plants adjacent to fields of Bt-transgenic or nontransgenic corn. Although corn pollen accumulated on the leaves eaten by the larvae, there was no difference in butterfly health or mortality between the experimental and control groups. An important variable that the team quantified was the amount of corn pollen accumulating on nearby plants. “There are certainly theoretical studies of corn pollen densities,” says senior author May Berenbaum, “but I’m uncertain ... as to how applicable they would be to any particular field of corn. That’s why we measured pollen deposition ourselves.” The new data should form a basis for better laboratory studies on transgenic pollen toxicity. AD

DOI: 10.1038/77205

Cite this paper

@article{Grisham2000CellsRS, title={Cells repair spinal cord}, author={J Julianna Grisham}, journal={Nature Biotechnology}, year={2000}, volume={18}, pages={701-701} }