No impact of transgenic cry1Ie maize on the diversity, abundance and composition of soil fauna in a 2-year field trial

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Abstract or Summary

Soil fauna play an essential role in the soil ecosystem, but they may be influenced by insecticidal Cry proteins derived from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) maize. In this study, a 2-year field trial was conducted to study the effects of transgenic cry1Ie maize, a type of Bt maize (Event IE09S034), on soil fauna, with the near-isogenic line non-Bt maize (Zong 31) as a control. The soil animals were collected with Macfadyen heat extractor and hand-sorting methods, respectively, and their diversity, abundance and community composition were calculated. Then, the effects of maize type, year, sampling time and soil environmental factors on the soil fauna were evaluated by repeated-measures ANOVA, redundancy analysis (RDA) and nonmetric multidimensional scaling (nMDS). Repeated-measures ANOVA showed that the diversity and abundance of the soil fauna were not affected by maize type, while they were significantly influenced by year and sampling time. Furthermore, for both the Macfadyen and hand-sorting methods, RDA indicated that soil fauna community composition was not correlated with maize type (Bt and non-Bt maize) but was significantly correlated with year, sampling time and root biomass. In addition, it was significantly related to soil pH according to the hand-sorting method. nMDS indicated that soil fauna community composition was significantly correlated with year and sampling time; however, it was not associated with maize type. In this study, we collected soil faunal samples according to the Macfadyen and hand-sorting methods and processed the obtained data with ANOVA, RDA, and nMDS in three ways, and our data indicate that transgenic cry1Ie maize (Event IE09S034) had no substantial influence on the diversity, abundance or community composition of the soil fauna.

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