Crop Biotech Update

Scientists Assess Impact of Beta-carotene-enriched Soybeans on Soil Microorganisms

September 22, 2021

A group of researchers in the National Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Rural Development Administration and partners in Korea evaluated the effect of beta-carotene-enhanced soybean and hybrid soybeans on soil microbial communities. The results are published in Plant Biotechnology Reports.

One of the strategies in the environmental assessment of GM crops impact is to analyze their effects on microbial communities of the rhizosphere, which is the portion of the soil influenced by root secretions and soil microorganisms. To know the impact of GM and hybrid soybeans on the bacterial community of the rhizosphere, the research team used beta-carotene-enhanced transgenic soybean as the GM crop, modified from Kwangan soybean, and a hybrid soybean line in which this GM soybean line had been crossed with wild soybean.

Results showed that the bacterial community in the rhizospheres of GM and hybrid soybeans has no significant difference from that of conventional soybeans. The bacterial densities of the rhizospheres of GM and hybrid soybeans were within the range of the conventional soybeans. Further analysis also concluded that there is no horizontal gene transfer from the GM and hybrid soybeans to soil rhizosphere microorganisms.

Based on the findings, it was evident that GM and hybrid soybeans have an insignificant impact on soil microorganisms.

Read the research article in Plant Biotechnology Reports.

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