Development and standardisation of an ecotoxicological test method using fungus gnat larvae for the risk assessment of genetically modified plants

Prior to releasing a genetically modified plant (GMP) into the environment and placing it on the market in the European Union, an environmental risk assessment has to be performed according to Directive 2001/18/EC. Based on the results of a previous project conducted from 2012 to 2016 (for more information, see the project description and the publication of Jänsch et al. 2018) this project has two aims: (1) The previously developed method uses the black fungus gnat Bradysia impatiens (Diptera). However, at Central European crop sites, the species Lycoriella castanescens is more widely distributed. Therefore, the method will be adapted to include this ecologically more relevant species. (2) The modified test method will be used to study the effects of genetically modified maize material on B. impatiens and L. castanescens to verify and confirm results obtained in the previous project. Depending on the obtained results, an interlaboratory comparison test with one or both species will be conducted. Subsequently, the improved test method will be assessed in an international ringtest. Thus, the final aim of this work is to prepare a draft test guideline, probably according to OECD requirements.