Effects of a genetically modified potato on a non-target aphid are outweighed by cultivar differences

Jenny Lazebnik, Salvatore Arpaia, Ferdinando Baldacchino, Paolo Banzato, Stefania Moliterni, Jack H. Vossen, Els M. van de Zande, Joop J.A. van Loon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Insect–plant interactions may be unintentionally affected when introducing genetically modified (GM) crops into an agro-ecosystem. Our aim was to test the non-target effects of a late blight-resistant GM potato on Myzus persicae in greenhouse and climate room experiments and understand how position and number of R gene insertions can affect non-targets in GM events. We also aimed to compare results to baseline differences among three conventional potato varieties varying in resistance to late blight. Aphid development and survival were affected by some GM events in the first generation, though effects disappeared in the second generation. Effects were not dependent on the presence of a marker gene or the insertion of a second resistance gene. Positional effects of gene insertion influenced aphid performance on certain GM events. However, aphid fitness varied considerably more between conventional potato varieties than between Désirée and the GM events. Comparing different GM events to the non-transformed variety is relevant, since unintended effects of insertion can occur. Our protocols can be recommended for in planta risk assessments with aphids. Ecological perspective is gained by selecting several measured endpoints and by comparing the results with a baseline of conventional cultivars.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)855-864
JournalJournal of Pest Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Environmental risk assessment
  • Genetic modification
  • Greenhouse
  • Myzus persicae
  • Non-target testing
  • Phytophthora infestans
  • Solanum tuberosum


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