Journal of Pest Science (2018) 91:565–574
Unintended eects of a Phytophtora‑resistant cisgenic potato clone
on the potato aphid Macrosiphum euphorbiae and its parasitoid
· M. Radkova
· S. Arpaia
· S. Errico
· L. A. P. Lotz
· R. A. Magarelli
· D. Djilianov
· E. Guerrieri
Received: 21 July 2017 / Revised: 24 October 2017 / Accepted: 1 December 2017 / Published online: 8 December 2017
© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017
Genetically modiﬁed (GM) plants may show unintended diﬀerences compared to the original varieties, due to the modiﬁca-
tion process. Such diﬀerences might in some cases aﬀect non-target organisms linked to the crop into an agro-ecosystem.
In this paper, we aimed to study interactions of two blight-resistant GM potato clones with the aphid species Macrosiphum
euphorbiae Thomas, a non-target arthropod frequently feeding on potato plants and one of the major pests of that crop. One of
the potato events used in our experiments caused an increased fertility of the aphids in the ﬁrst generation, and consequently,
a positive eﬀect on the growth of the aphid population was estimated. When a second generation of the aphid was reared on
potato leaves of the same GM event, diﬀerences in aphid fertility were no longer observed. Behavioural studies conducted
in a wind tunnel using the aphid parasitoid Aphidius ervi Haliday indicated that neither of the two tested GM varieties had a
signiﬁcant eﬀect on the attractiveness of potato plants towards the parasitoid. In planta tests proved to be sensitive protocols to
detect unintended eﬀects on a non-target arthropod; experimental results, however, indicate that these eﬀects are not expected
to be biologically relevant in this tritrophic system, if these GM events become available for commercial use in the future.
Keywords Genetically modiﬁed plants · Non-target organisms · Unintended eﬀects · Environmental risk assessment · In
planta tests · Tritrophic interactions
We studied the possible eﬀect of genetically modiﬁed
potato clones resistant to late blight on the aphid Macro-
siphum euphorbiae and its parasitoid wasp Aphidius ervi.
One potato transformation event temporarily enhanced
aphid fertility, although the eﬀect was no longer detected
in the following generation.
No eﬀects of plant transformation were detected on the
parasitoid ﬂight behaviour.
Late blight-resistant potatoes are not expected to impair
these non-target species.
This study demonstrates the importance of evaluating
unintended eﬀects before the commercialization of new
Communicated by Y. Gao.
Electronic supplementary material The online version of this
article (https://doi.org/10.1007/s10340-017-0941-1) contains
supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
* S. Arpaia
National Research Council of Italy, Institute for Sustainable
Plant Protection, Via Università, 133, 80055 Portici, NA,
Agrobioinstitute 8 Dragan Tsankov Blvd, 1164 Soﬁa,
ENEA, Trisaia Research Centre, S.S. 106 Jonica km
419+500, 75026 Rotondella, Matera, Italy
Department of Agrosystems Research, Wageningen
University and Research, Droevendaalsesteeg 1,
6708 PB Wageningen, The Netherlands