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Crop Biotech Update

Study Explores Degradation of Cry Proteins After Harvest

August 4, 2021

University of Maryland researchers investigated how long Cry proteins persist in SmartStax corn when subjected to four post-harvest practices. The results are published in Transgenic Research.

Cry protein levels are expected to decline over time due to microbial decomposition and leaching. Thus, the researchers tracked how long biologically active Cry proteins last in SmartStax corn residue expressing Cry1A.105, Cry1F, Cry2Ab2, Cry3Bb1, and Cry34/35Ab1, when exposed to four post-harvest practices including chisel plow tillage, flail mowing, cover crop planting, and undisturbed residue.

Results showed that Cry proteins continued biological activity for as long as 24 weeks after harvest when residue was left above ground with less soil contact.

Read the research article in Transgenic Research.

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