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Factors Affecting Residual Dosages of Two Formulations of Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis Tested in the Same Stream During a 3-Year Experiment

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Although many field trials have been conducted using Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis (Bti)-based formulations, most have been in rivers with different biotic and abiotic conditions thus rendering the evaluation of their performance very difficult. Recently, results of a threeyear experiment using a new field procedure brought new insight into the behavior and the performance (carry) of two liquid formulations of Bti, Teknar HP-D and Vectobac 1200L, tested in the same lotic environment and under similar abiotic and biotic conditions. Factors such as discharge, water temperature and the hyporheic zone were identified as elements affecting the downstream loss of activity of both products. However, to better understand the reduction of black fly mortality along a stream (measured by using gutters), data of residual dosages of both products (measured by laboratory assay with mosquito larvae) were compared with reduction of black fly mortality. Bti toxic activity was monitored from water samples taken at different distances downstream from an application point, and from probes driven into the hyporheic zone, to study the effects of abiotic factors on the loss of the toxic crystals. Results showed that the loss of dosage was exponential for both products but more crystals were recovered from Vectobac 1200L along the stream than from Teknar HP-D. However, the latter was more efficient, i.e. less toxins were needed to kill 50% of black fly larvae both in temperate (16°C) and warmer (19.5-22°C) water. Also, a rise in water temperature had a greater effect in the kill induced by Vectobac 1200L compared to Teknar HP-D. For the same residual dosages present at the stations, longer carries of toxin activity (higher mortalities) were obtained in warmer water. Finally, the hyporheic zone was identified as a major source of loss of activity of Bti products. Large stream discharges decreased the effect of the hyporheic zone and that was reflected in longer carry of the products.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2001-12-01

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