Biotech Updates

Bt Proteins in Rice Degraded in Paddy Soils

June 5, 2019

Scientists from the University of Bremen, Germany and Chinese Academy of Sciences, China, conducted a study to investigate the degradation of transgenic Bt rice straw when incorporated into paddy soils. The research is published in the Journal of Environmental Management.

Incorporation of rice straw in paddy soils after harvest is a common practice to fertilize or improve the structure of the soil. The use of straw from transgenic Bt rice poses a concern because of potential risks such as integration of Bt proteins in soil. Thus, decomposition of Bt rice straw and degradation of Bt proteins, and the condition of microbial communities were observed under laboratory conditions. 

Results showed that Bt rice straw caused a slight change on soil respiration and methane emissions in two types of paddy soils (silt loam soil and silty clay soil). There were also differences in the cumulative emissions of carbon dioxide between two paddy soils. Bt proteins Cry1Ab/Ac were degraded, though at varied rates in differently textured paddy soils. The presence of rice straw led to the increased abundance of soil microorganisms. 

Read the research article in the Journal of Environmental Management.