Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

NYU Researchers Find That Genetically Engineered Corn Releases Insecticidal Toxin Into Soil

Date:
December 14, 1999
Source:
New York University
Summary:
Researchers at New York University have found that insect-killing toxin from Bt corn is released into soil from the roots. The scientists say more research is needed to determine whether this exuded toxin has a good, bad, or neutral effect on organisms in soil.

Researchers at New York University have found that insect-killing toxin from Bt corn is released into soil from the roots. The scientists say more research is needed to determine whether this exuded toxin has a good, bad, or neutral effect on organisms in soil.

Related Articles


The research was conducted by NYU biology professor Guenther Stotzky, NYU research scientist Deepak Saxena, and Saul Flores of the Venezuelan Scientific Research Institute. The team's findings were published in the December 2nd issue of Nature in a brief communication entitled, "Insecticidal toxin in root exudates from Bt corn."

Bt corn is corn that has been genetically modified to produce an insecticidal toxin derived from the bacterium, Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). The toxin is present in the plant's tissues and kills the larvae of caterpillars that attack the plant. It was previously believed that the Bt toxin molecule was too large to be released through the plant's root system. Recently it was shown that the toxin is also present in the pollen of Bt corn and that when the pollen was placed on the leaves of milkweed, it killed monarch butterflies that ate the contaminated leaves.

Professor Stotzky said, "We have no indication of how soil communities might be affected by the Bt toxin that these plants exude. It might improve control of insect pests. It might enhance the rate at which insect pests become resistant to the toxin. It might negatively impact beneficial insects. These are troubling questions, and we don't know the answers yet."

About 15 million acres of Bt corn were planted the U.S. in 1998, which was just under 20% of the nation's total corn acreage.

The researchers grew Bt corn in a plant-growth room and then collected samples of root exudates from the roots and from nearby soil. They found that active Bt toxin was exuded by the roots throughout the growth of the plants, and that the toxin, which binds on soil, retained the ability to kill insect larvae. Previous studies with purified toxin showed that it retained insecticidal activity for 234 days, the longest time studied.

Guenther Stotzky is a professor of biology at New York University. He is the director of NYU's Laboratory of Microbial Ecology. He received his Ph.D. from The Ohio State University.

###

This research was funded by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by New York University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

New York University. "NYU Researchers Find That Genetically Engineered Corn Releases Insecticidal Toxin Into Soil." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 December 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/12/991214075810.htm>.
New York University. (1999, December 14). NYU Researchers Find That Genetically Engineered Corn Releases Insecticidal Toxin Into Soil. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/12/991214075810.htm
New York University. "NYU Researchers Find That Genetically Engineered Corn Releases Insecticidal Toxin Into Soil." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/12/991214075810.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Millions of monarch butterflies begin to descend onto Mexico as part of their annual migration south. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Newsy (Dec. 19, 2014) A new study suggests a certain type of bird was able to sense a tornado outbreak that moved through the U.S. a day before it hit. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins