Few suitable and standardised test methods are currently available to test the effects of genetically modified plants (GMP) on non-target organisms. To fill this gap and improve ecotoxicological testing for GMP, we developed a new soil ecotoxicological test method using sciarid larvae as test organisms. Bradysia impatiens was identified as a candidate species. A functional basic test design was successfully developed. Azadirachtin was identified as a suitable reference substance. In several tests, the effects of this substance on development time and emergence rate varied for different temperatures and test substrates. Results suggest that the developed test system is suitable to enter a full standardisation process, e.g., via the OECD. Such a standardisation would not only assist the risk assessment of GMP, but could include other stressors such as systemic pesticides or veterinary pharmaceuticals reaching the soil, e.g., via spreading manure. The use of sciarid flies as test organisms supports recommendations of EFSA, which stressed the ecological role of flies and encouraged including Diptera into test batteries.
For additional information, see the open access publication in Environmental Sciences Europe:
Jänsch, S., Bauer, J., Leube, D., Otto, M., Römbke, J., Teichmann, H., Waszak, K. (2018). A new ecotoxicological test method for genetically modified plants and other stressors in soil with the black fungus gnat Bradysia impatiens (Diptera): current status of test development and dietary effects of azadirachtin on larval development and emergence rate. Environmental Sciences Europe 30:38.
For further new publications, see ECT’s publication list.