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Frontiers of Agriculture in China

ISSN 1673-7334

ISSN 1673-744X(Online)

CN 11-5729/S

Front Agric Chin    2009, Vol. 3 Issue (2) : 190-198     DOI: 10.1007/s11703-009-0027-9
Effects of Bt transgenic crops on soil ecosystems: a review of a ten-year research in China
Wenke LIU()
Institute of Environment and Sustainable Development in Agriculture,Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Key Laboratory of Agro-Environment & Climate Change, MOA, Beijing 100081, China
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Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) transgenic cotton is the unique Bt transgenic crop planted on a large scale in China, and its commercialized varieties and hectareage had increased rapidly in China during the past decade (1997-2006) with broad geographic distribution for the economic, environmental, and health benefits. In 2004, the planting area of Bt transgenic cotton in China ranked first worldwide with up to 370 × 106 hm2. In addition, Bt transgenic rice varieties in field tests have been close to approval for commercialization. However, ecological risks, a complex issue of Bt transgenic crops on soil ecosystem is urgently faced in China due to more than 60 varieties transferred single or bivalent Bt genes grown under diverse geographic regions. Two main pathways, biomass incorporation and root exudates, are involved in the effects of Bt transgenic crops on soil ecosystems. In this paper, the research results in recent years in China involved in the effects of Bt transgenic crops (Bt transgenic cottons and rice) on soil ecosystems were summarized with special attentions paid to the release and persistence of Bt toxins, and the toxicology to microorganisms, as well as the change of soil biochemical properties in soils where Bt transgenic crops were planted or incubated with their biomass. In addition, the complexity and current research defaults of ecological risk evaluation of Bt transgenic crops in China were highlighted.

Keywords Bt transgenic crops      soil ecosystems      enzyme activity      microorganisms      Bt toxins     
Corresponding Authors: LIU Wenke,   
Issue Date: 05 June 2009
URL:     OR
Fig.1  Planting area of Bt transgenic cottons in China from 1996 to 2007
Fig.2  Impact mechanisms of Bt transgenic crops on soil systems
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