Impact of Bt transgenic cottons and insecticides on target and non-target insect pests, natural enemies and seedcotton yield in India uri icon


  • Genetically engineered cottons expressing รค-endotoxins from Bacillus thuringiensis have been adopted on a largescale worldwide. Therefore, we studied the efficacy of Bt cottons for the management of bollworms, their effects on nontarget insects, and seedcotton yield under insecticide protected and unprotected conditions. Helicoverpa armigera and Earias vittella damage was significantly lower in Bt than in non-Bt cottons, while no significant differences were observed in egg-laying by H. armigera. The populations of major non-target sucking insect pests such as Amrasca biguttula biguttula, Bemisia tabaci, Aphis gossypii, Oxycarenus laetus, Dysdercus koenigii and Nezara viridula and the generalist predators, viz Cheilomenes sexmaculatus, Chrysopa spp., and spiders did not differ significantly between Bt and non-Bt cottons. Insecticide application resulted in resurgence of cotton aphid and whitefly, possibly because of elimination of natural enemies or better growth of plants uder protected conditions. Abundance of bollworms, non-target pests, and generalist predators was significantly greater before insecticide sprays than after insecticide application, except in a few cases. Bollworm damage was lower and seedcotton yields higher in Bt than in non-Bt cottons. The present studies indicated that Bt cotton hybrids are effective for the management of bollworms and yield more, and do not have any adverse effects on the abundance of generalist predators

publication date

  • 2012