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Crop Biotech Update

Bt Maize Has No Effect on Population Dynamics of an Endophytic Bacterial Community

October 5, 2016

Scientists from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences reported that transgenic maize carrying Bt gene cry1Ah has no adverse effects on the population dynamics of endophytic Bacillus subtilis strain B916-gfp. The results of their investigation are published in Microbiology Open.

Endophytic bacterial communities are vital in promoting plant development and preventing diseases. However, limited information is available regarding their population dynamics in plant tissues and bulk soil, particularly in transgenic crops. Thus, Chiongsi Sun of CAAS and colleagues investigated the colonization of Bt maize by Bacillus subtilis strain B916-gfp present in plant tissues and soil. They inoculated Bt and non-Bt maize plants with B916-gfp by seed soaking, or root irrigation under laboratory greenhouse and field conditions.

Results showed that B916-gfp colonized both Bt and non-Bt maize. No significant differences were found in terms of B916-gfp population size in Bt and non-Bt maize plants, except at one or two time points in the roots and stems that did not last until the examination period. Planting Bt maize did not affect the number of B916-gfp in bulk soil in either laboratory or field trials.

Based on the findings, Bt maize has no effect on colonization of the endophytic bacteria B916-gfp present in the plant and in bulk soil.

Read the research article in Microbiology Open.