Biotech Updates

Meta-analysis of Soil Enzymatic Responses to Bt Crops

January 16, 2019

Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and partners conducted a global meta-analysis examining the responses of soil enzymatic activity to Bt crops. The results are published in the Science of the Total Environment.

The researchers initially quantified the responses of soil enzymatic activity to Bt crop cultivations with or without Bt residues incorporation. Then they explored how the responses of soil enzymatic activity varied across Bt crops or in different growth periods, and revealed the relative contributions on the responses.

Results showed that dehydrogenase and urease generally positively responded to Bt crops. Dehydrogenase, which reflects the total metabolic activity of viable soil microbes, when significantly increased, may result in a higher rate of soil organic matter mineralization or the transformation of organic nutrients and nutrients into inorganic forms. Urease, one of the enzymes participating in nitrogen mineralization, when increased might lead to boosting the nitrogen cycling. It was observed that significant responses usually appeared under Bt cotton or in middle growth stages. It was also reported that the enzymatic responses attributed more to Bt crop properties than to soil properties.

Read more in Science of the Total Environment.