Crop Biotech Update

Impact of Virus Resistant GM Wheat on Microbial Community Diversity

June 11, 2014

A two-year study at two different areas was performed to analyze the impact of yellow mosaic virus resistant wheat on bacterial and fungal community diversity in rhizosphere soil.

The research team led by Jiron Wu from Jiangsu Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Nanjing, China used polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gel gradient electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE) at four growth stages (seeding stage, turngreen stage, grain-filling stage, and maturing stage) of wheat to analyze the microbial communities. They also studied the activities of enzymes urease, sucrase and dehydrogenase in rhizosphere soil.

Results showed that there was a slight difference in bacterial and fungal community diversity in rhizosphere soil between biotech wheat and its non-transgenic counterpart when they compared the Shannon's, Simpson's diversity index and evenness. Only one difference in the enzyme activities was also noted. Analysis of bands in  the gel for fungal community diversity showed that the majority of fungi were uncultured.

Based on the findings, it was concluded that virus-resistant transgenic wheat had no adverse impact on microbial community diversity and enzyme activity in rhizosphere soil.

Read the research article at Plos One: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0098394#pone-0098394-g009.