Researchers Confirm Bt Corn's Benefits Aside from Pest Resistance

It turns out that maize hybrids expressing Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt corn) is not just a pest resistant crop, it also has significant agronomic benefits. This is the result of the study conducted by the researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Particularly, Bt corn was found to increase grain yield and nitrogen use.

For two years, the researchers conducted experiments by growing conventional and Bt corn applying five different amounts of nitrogen. The study found out that the insect resistant corn had higher yields than its conventional counterpart (nearly 21 bushels per acre) and more easily tolerated low nitrogen levels. The study further emphasized the role of biotechnology in promoting sustainable and resource use efficient maize production to feed a growing world population.

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This article is part of the Crop Biotech Update, a weekly summary of world developments in agri-biotech for developing countries, produced by the Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology, International Service for the Aquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications SEAsiaCenter (ISAAA)

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