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Antagonism – Lab Report 11/18/11 How to Raise Chicken Feed Hypothesis: The use of the Bt toxin upon tobacco plant

(Nicotiana tobacco ) will cause reduced growth of the Hornworm caterpillar (Manduca sexta). Methods: To test the hypothesis, three controls and a treatment were constructed. The controls were as follows: plant with no added caterpillars or Bt, a plant with added Bt, a plant with added Hornworms. The experimental treatment incorporated all three; plant, Bt and caterpillar. When caterpillars were used, three were added to leaves near the base of the plant. Bt was applied by providing a general spray coat to the plant’s outer surfaces. All plants were subsequently covered with a fine mesh supported by bamboo sticks and banded at the bottom and left to run for a week. Treatments: 1- Plant 2- Plant + Bt

[CONTROL] [CONTROL]

3- Plant + larvae [CONTROL] 4- Plant, Bt, Larvae

Controls: Treatments 1-3 are controls. They allow for the observation of interactions between Bt and the larvae with the plant. Treatment 1 was constructed to provide a baseline for plant growth. Treatment 2 allows for the inference of how Bt affects plant growth. Treatment 3 allows for the inference of how unhindered larvae affect plant growth. Predictions: Treatments 1 and 2 are expected to appear very similar, if not identical, in growth and overall health. Treatment 3 is expected to undergo heavy defoliation from the unimpeded caterpillars. Treatment 4 should have relatively unhindered growth, but may see some limited leaf damage. Results: The plants were allowed to sit for 1 week Trt 1 Trt 2 Trt 3 Plant is Plant is Plant is completely Week 1 healthy, healthy, no devastated. A large no larvae larvae caterpillar and a medium noticed. noticed. sized caterpillar were found. Measure of health

Trt 4 The plant is healthy. No living larvae noticed, but two dead larvae were found.

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Discussion: The results suggest that Bt is very capable of both providing uninterrupted growth to plants, while at the same time causing an expedited death in the Hornworm caterpillar. However, because a third of the caterpillars applied to the third treatment were killed, and the remains not found, it is likely they died while small/young. Treatment 4 therefore could have simply had all three of its applied Hornworms succumb to other means rather than Bt, though it seems unlikely considering the presence of a known toxin and the relative unlikelihood of all three dying without external pressures. The fact that Bt is oft regarded as an organic pesticide is highly advantageous for organic farmers, as it appears to be an exceedingly effective control method. Question: Is there a relationship between the Bt and the tobacco? If so what is it? If not, why not?

and clearly has some evolutionary ability to survive various pressures. or a like pesticide. if not impossible. It is perhaps then that the relationship between Bt and tobacco only becomes relevant in areas which tobacco predators susceptible to the Bt toxin and tobacco cultivation exist. and are relatively ubiquitous.Antagonism – Lab Report 11/18/11 It appears there is no direct relationship between Bt and the tobacco plant. tobacco cultivation would be highly inefficient. it could be said that without Bt. however. but because Hornworms can pose such a massive problem to the tobacco plant. that tobacco came into existence in its own right. It should be noted. .