Effects of Cry1Ab-expressing Bt rice straw return on juvenile and adult Eisenia fetida

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Abstract or Summary

A 90 day experiment was conducted in the laboratory to investigate the potential effects of transgenic Cry1Abexpressing rice (Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) rice: T775 and its F1 hybrid) straw return on earthworm Eisenia fetida, compared to non-Bt rice (TYHZ) straw. Juvenile E. fetida could survive, grow up, mature and reproduce offspring well in a Bt rice treated test during the whole experiment. The significantly higher relative growth rate (RGR) was found in earthworms from Bt rice treatment than from non-Bt rice treatment on the 7th day. The period of sexual maturity for earthworms from Bt rice treatments was shortened significantly, compared to non-Bt rice treatments. Adult E. fetida survived with weight loss under Bt rice treatments. On the 7th and 15th day, earthworm RGR decreased and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-PX) activity increased under Bt rice straw treatments. Significantly fewer offspring were produced by earthworms from Bt rice than non-Bt rice treatments on the 60th and 75th day. Enzyme-linked immuno sorbent assay (ELISA) determined a sharp decrease of Cry1Ab in straw mixed soil along with the experimental time, regardless of juvenile or adult earthworm treatments. Cry1Ab concentration in the earthworms from the juvenile group was significantly higher than those from the adult group. Bt rice straw return had significant effects on soil nutrients, especially on the content of total and available phosphorus. In view of two bioassays, Bt rice (T775 and its F1 hybrid) straw return presented different effects on E. fetida from the juvenile (no deleterious effect) and adult (a little negative effect) groups, that were not directly related to Cry1Ab presence and nutrient differences among the three rice variety treatments.


Effects of Cry1Ab-expressing Bt rice straw return on juvenile and adult Eisenia fetida (held on an external server, and so may require additional authentication details)

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