Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 103, Issue 10, pp 4217–4227 | Cite as

Limited effect of planting transgenic rice on the soil microbiome studied by continuous 13CO2 labeling combined with high-throughput sequencing

  • Juan Wang
  • Stephen J. Chapman
  • Qingfu Ye
  • Huaiying YaoEmail author
Environmental biotechnology


The planting of transgenic rice has aroused ongoing controversy, due to the public anxiety surrounding the potential risk of transgenic rice to health and the environment. The soil microbial community plays an important environmental role in the plant-soil-microbe system; however, few studies have focused on the effect of transgenic rice on the soil rhizospheric microbiome. We labeled transgenic gene rice (TT51, transformed with Cry1Ab/1Ac gene), able to produce the Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) toxin, its parental variety (Minghui 63), and a non-parental variety (9931) with 13CO2. The DNA of the associated soil rhizospheric microbes was extracted, subjected to density gradient centrifugation, followed by high-throughput sequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA gene. Unweighted unifrac analysis of the sequencing showed that transgenic rice did not significantly change the soil bacterial community structure compared with its parental variety. The order Opitutales, affiliated to phylum Verrucomicrobia and order Sphingobacteriales, was the main group of labeled bacteria in soil planted with the transgenic and parental varieties, while the orders Pedosphaerales, Chthoniobacteraceae, also affiliated to Verrucomicrobia, and the genus Geobacter, affiliated to class Deltaproteobacteria, dominated in the soil of the non-parental rice variety. The non-significant difference in soil bacterial community structure of labeled microbes between the transgenic and parental varieties, but the comparatively large difference with the non-parental variety, suggests a limited effect of planting transgenic Bt rice on the soil microbiome.


Transgenic rice Continuous labeling DNA-SIP High-throughput sequencing 


Funding information

This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 41525002, 41701282 and 41761134085), the Strategic Priority Program of the Chinese Academy of Science (Grant No. XDB15020300), the National Ten-Thousand Talents Program of China (201829), and the Two-Hundred Talents Plan of Fujian Province, China (2018A12).

Compliance with ethical standards

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

253_2019_9751_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (498 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 497 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juan Wang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Stephen J. Chapman
    • 3
  • Qingfu Ye
    • 4
  • Huaiying Yao
    • 1
    • 2
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Urban Environment and Health, Institute of Urban EnvironmentChinese Academy of SciencesXiamenChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Urban Environmental Processes and Pollution Control, Ningbo Urban Environment Observation and Research StationChinese Academy of SciencesNingboChina
  3. 3.The James Hutton InstituteAberdeenUK
  4. 4.Institute of Nuclear Agricultural Sciences, Key Laboratory of Nuclear Agricultural Sciences of Ministry of AgricultureZhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina
  5. 5.Research Center for Environmental Ecology and Engineering, School of Environmental Ecology and Biological EngineeringWuhan Institute of TechnologyWuhanChina

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