Influence of Bt-plants on soil biota and pleiotropic effect of δ-endotoxin-encoding genes
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- Viktorov, A.G. Russ J Plant Physiol (2008) 55: 738. doi:10.1134/S1021443708060022
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The critical review of experimental conclusions stating environmental safety of transgenic plants reveals that the methods and test materials employed in some studies were inadequate to the goals pursued. A large-scale application of transgenic Bt-plants may result in long-lasting negative impact on the environment. First, the cultivation of these plants leads to accumulation of Bt-toxins in soil. Second, the decomposition of transgenic plants takes significantly longer time compared to that of isogenic lines. Third, the biological activity of soils under transgenic crops is lower than in the control plots. The transfer of δ-endotoxin-encoding genes to the genome of agricultural crops affects simultaneously several entirely different traits of genetically modified plants, thus exerting pleiotropic effects. This gives rise to a paradoxical situation: the genetically engineered crops selected on the trait of resistance to herbivorous insects of the order Lepidoptera become more attractive for herbivores from the other order, Homoptera.