Despite the rapid adoption of genetically modified crops, very little research on the ecological impacts of these crops on non-target species or ecosystem processes has been published.
The commercialization of GM corn varieties that have been genetically modified to produce insecticidal proteins encoded from the truncated genes of the bacterium, Bacillus thuringiensis has influenced production systems whether they have adopted or rejected the use of this technology.
The organic industry, for example fears this technology will undermine the efficacy of BT sprays. These sprays have been used over 40 years and have provided a uniquely specific, safe and effective tool for managing a variety of insect pests.
Purpose is to conduct research to develop a mechanistic understanding of toxin expression, fate in the environment and potential to influence related non-target effects. The study will attempt to quantify and related the measures of Bt toxin added to soil and its temporal changes to toxicity, and will characterize the influence of common tillage practices on toxin persistence.
Project will examine the persistence of the Bt toxin, Cry3Bb1 in soil in a corn-soybean rotation, when three corn rootworm resistant Bt corn varieties and their respective non-transgenic isolines are grown.
The results will foster practices to minimize negative impacts (or determine if there will be impacts) of the corn-soybean rotation system that adopt recently released transgenic corn varieties to control corn rootworm on the environment.