Innovative Environmental Services IES Ltd

Witterswil, Switzerland

Innovative Environmental Services IES Ltd

Witterswil, Switzerland
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Bruhl C.A.,University of Koblenz-Landau | Schafer R.B.,University of Koblenz-Landau | Mittmann F.,University of Koblenz-Landau | Stahlschmidt P.,University of Koblenz-Landau | And 14 more authors.
Environmental Sciences Europe | Year: 2012

This report provides a brief review of the 16th annual meeting of the German Language Branch of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC GLB) held from September 18th to 20th 2011 at the University Koblenz-Landau at Campus Landau. The event was organized by Carsten Brühl and Ralf B. Schäfer and many members and students of the Institute for Environmental Sciences under the main theme "EcoTOXICOlogy and Environmental CHEMISTRY: Crossing borders". Almost 300 participants enjoyed the scientific program that included 54 oral and 70 poster presentations under seven session themes. In addition, four invited keynote speakers and a plenary discussion on biodiversity with representatives from government, academia and industry provided new insights. The best oral and poster presentations of the meeting were awarded together with the annual young scientist award of SETAC GLB for the best diploma and doctoral thesis. The proceedings of the meeting (mostly in German) including the program and all abstracts is freely available as Supplemental Material. © 2012 Dakal and Cameotra; licensee Springer.

Romeis J.,ART Agroscope Reckenholz Tänikon | Hellmich R.L.,Iowa State University | Candolfi M.P.,Innovative Environmental Services IES Ltd | Carstens K.,DuPont Pioneer | And 8 more authors.
Transgenic Research | Year: 2011

This paper provides recommendations on experimental design for early-tier laboratory studies used in risk assessments to evaluate potential adverse impacts of arthropod-resistant genetically engineered (GE) plants on non-target arthropods (NTAs). While we rely heavily on the currently used proteins from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) in this discussion, the concepts apply to other arthropod-active proteins. A risk may exist if the newly acquired trait of the GE plant has adverse effects on NTAs when they are exposed to the arthropod-active protein. Typically, the risk assessment follows a tiered approach that starts with laboratory studies under worst-case exposure conditions; such studies have a high ability to detect adverse effects on non-target species. Clear guidance on how such data are produced in laboratory studies assists the product developers and risk assessors. The studies should be reproducible and test clearly defined risk hypotheses. These properties contribute to the robustness of, and confidence in, environmental risk assessments for GE plants. Data from NTA studies, collected during the analysis phase of an environmental risk assessment, are critical to the outcome of the assessment and ultimately the decision taken by regulatory authorities on the release of a GE plant. Confidence in the results of early-tier laboratory studies is a precondition for the acceptance of data across regulatory jurisdictions and should encourage agencies to share useful information and thus avoid redundant testing. © 2010 The Author(s).

Romeis J.,ART Agroscope Reckenholz Tänikon | Raybould A.,Hill International | Bigler F.,ART Agroscope Reckenholz Tänikon | Candolfi M.P.,Innovative Environmental Services IES Ltd. | And 3 more authors.
Chemosphere | Year: 2013

Arthropods form a major part of the biodiversity in agricultural landscapes. Many species are valued because they provide ecosystem services, including biological control, pollination and decomposition, or because they are of conservation interest. Some arthropods reduce crop yield and quality, and conventional chemical pesticides, biological control agents and genetically engineered (GE) crops are used to control them. A common concern addressed in the ecological risk assessment (ERA) that precedes regulatory approval of these pest control methods is their potential to adversely affect valued non-target arthropods (NTAs). A key concept of ERA is early-tier testing using worst-case exposure conditions in the laboratory and surrogate test species that are most likely to reveal an adverse effect. If no adverse effects are observed in those species at high exposures, confidence of negligible ecological risk from the use of the pest control method is increased. From experience with chemical pesticides and biological control agents, an approach is proposed for selecting test species for early-tier ERA of GE arthropod-resistant crops. Surrogate species should be selected that most closely meet three criteria: (i) Potential sensitivity: species should be the most likely to be sensitive to the arthropod-active compound based on the known spectrum of activity of the active ingredient, its mode of action, and the phylogenetic relatedness of the test and target species; (ii) Relevance: species should be representative of valued taxa or functional groups that are most likely to be exposed to the arthropod-active compound in the field; and (iii) Availability and reliability: suitable life-stages of the test species must be obtainable in sufficient quantity and quality, and validated test protocols must be available that allow consistent detection of adverse effects on ecologically relevant parameters. Our proposed approach ensures that the most suitable species are selected for testing and that the resulting data provide the most rigorous test of the risk hypothesis of no adverse effect in order to increase the quality and efficiency of ERAs for cultivation of GE crops. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Sedivy C.,ETH Zurich | Piskorski R.,ETH Zurich | Piskorski R.,Innovative Environmental Services IES Ltd | Muller A.,ETH Zurich | Dorn S.,ETH Zurich
Journal of Chemical Ecology | Year: 2012

Growing evidence suggests that the freely accessible pollen of some plants is chemically protected against pollen-feeding flower visitors. For example, a diet of pollen from buttercup plants (Ranunculus) recently was shown to have a deleterious effect on developing larvae of several bee species not specialized on Ranunculus. Numerous Ranunculus species contain ranunculin, the glucosyl hydrate form of the highly reactive and toxic lactone protoanemonin, that causes the toxicity of these plants. We tested whether the presence of ranunculin is responsible for the lethal effects of R. acris pollen on the larvae of two bee species that are not Ranunculus specialists. To investigate the effect on bee larval development, we added ranunculin to the pollen provisions of the Campanula specialist bee Chelostoma rapunculi and the Asteraceae specialist bee Heriades truncorum, and allowed the larvae to feed on these provisions. We quantified ranunculin in pollen of R. acris and in brood cell provisions collected by the Ranunculus specialist bee Chelostoma florisomne. We demonstrated that although ranunculin was lethal to both tested bee species in high concentrations, the concentration in the pollen of R. acris was at least fourfold lower than that tolerated by the larvae of C. rapunculi and H. truncorum in the feeding experiments. Ranunculin concentration in the brood cells of C. florisomne was on average even twentyfold lower than that in Ranunculus pollen, suggesting that a mechanism different from ranunculin intoxication accounts for the larval mortality reported for bees not specialized on Ranunculus pollen. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012.

Klaiber J.,ETH Zurich | Najar-Rodriguez A.J.,ETH Zurich | Piskorski R.,ETH Zurich | Piskorski R.,Innovative Environmental Services IES Ltd. | Dorn S.,ETH Zurich
Planta | Year: 2013

Plants growing under elevated CO2 concentration may acclimatize to this environmental change by modification of chemical, physiological, and/or morphological traits. As a consequence, not only plant functioning but also plant-insect interactions might be altered, with important consequences particularly for agricultural systems. Whereas most studies have focused on the plant acclimation effects of elevated CO2 with regard to crop growth and productivity, acclimation effects on the behavioral response of insects associated with these plants have been largely neglected. In this study, we used a model system comprised of Brussels sprout Brassica oleraceae var. gemmifera and a specialized herbivorous insect, the cabbage aphid Brevicoryne brassicae, to test for the effects of various periods of exposure to an elevated (2× ambient) CO2 concentration on key plant functional traits and on host plant location behavior by the insect, assessed as plant colonization rates. Elevated CO2 had no measurable effect on colonization rates or total plant volatile emissions after a 2-week exposure, but it led to 15 and 26 % reductions in plant colonization rates after 6- and 10-week exposures, respectively. This reduction in plant colonization was associated with significant decreases in leaf stomatal conductance and plant volatile emission. Terpene emission, in particular, exhibited a great reduction after the 10-week exposure to elevated CO2. Our results provide empirical evidence that plants might acclimatize to a future increase in CO2, and that these acclimation responses might affect host plant choice and colonization behavior by herbivorous insects, which might be advantageous from the plant's perspective. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.

Piskorski R.,ETH Zurich | Piskorski R.,Innovative Environmental Services IES Ltd. | Ineichen S.,ETH Zurich | Dorn S.,ETH Zurich
Journal of Chemical Ecology | Year: 2011

Many plant species produce toxic secondary metabolites that limit attacks by herbivorous insects, and may thereby constrain insect expansion to new hosts. Walnut is a host for the codling moth Cydia pomonella, which efficiently detoxifies the main walnut defensive compound juglone (5-hydroxy-1,4-naphthoquinone). The oriental fruit moth Grapholita molesta, which also belongs to the tribe Grapholitini, does not feed on walnut. We tested the performance of G. molesta, a highly invasive species, on artificial diets containing juglone at levels mimicking those found in walnut over the growing season. Juglone-fed G. molesta survived relatively well to adulthood, but larval and adult body weights were reduced, and larval developmental time was prolonged in a dose-dependent fashion. Chemical analysis of frass from larvae that had been fed a juglone-containing diet suggests that G. molesta reduces juglone to non-toxic 1,4,5-trihydroxynaphthalene in its gut. This unexpected tolerance of G. molesta to high levels of juglone may facilitate expansion of the host range beyond the current rosacean fruit trees used by this invasive pest. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Jeker L.,Innovative Environmental Services IES Ltd | Schmid L.,Innovative Environmental Services IES Ltd | Meschberger T.,Innovative Environmental Services IES Ltd | Candolfi M.,Innovative Environmental Services IES Ltd | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Apicultural Research | Year: 2012

The potential impact of plant protection products on honey bee brood development is of increasing concern. Regulatory authorities therefore now request studies monitoring potential adverse effects on honey bee brood development. Current methods have a number of inherent technical limitations which we have circumvented by computerization of analysis. In this article, we describe the computer-assisted digital image analysis and evaluation method of brood development in honey bee combs. With this tool it is possible to systematically evaluate brood development on the basis of high definition pictures of brood frames taken during semi-field or field scale honey bee trials. The computerassisted method enables the post-hoc analysis of virtually any number of cells, and addresses both the issues of small cell numbers as well as the traceability and verification of the data. The method and software described has been designed and compiled with the intention of providing a tool for the 100% traceable analysis of bee brood studies with gap-free, systematic documentation. This is extremely important when working under Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) conditions. By reducing the out-of-hive time, the method minimizes the impact on the bee brood, and is thus likely to increase the success rate of studies. The availability of digital images allows the post-hoc analysis of any number of cells. The automated tracing of the cells under investigation and the automated population of the cell classification data excludes manual data transcription errors and thus significantly improves data reliability. © IBRA 2012.

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