Bt corn plants and their straw have no apparent impact on soil microbial communities

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Abstract or Summary

Polymerase chain reaction–denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR–DGGE) and sequences of the 16S and 18S rRNA genes were used to access the effects of actively growing Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) corn Pioneer 34B24 and Nongda 1246*1482, and plant straw (leaves plus stalks) of Bt hybrid Pioneer 34B24 and Nongda 61 on soil bacterial and fungal communities. Two-way indicator species analysis (TWINSPAN®), and detrended correspondence analysis (DCA) of the DGGE data indicated that neither the actively growing Bt corn nor its straw had any constant apparent effect on the soil bacteria and fungi community structure. The age of the growing plants, or the timing of plant straw decomposition may have more effect on the microbial community than other factors, i.e., the presence of Cry protein, plant hybrid and variety.

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