Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute, Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan--Publication-Journal of Taiwan Agricultural Research

Journal of Taiwan Agricultural Research

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Biosafety Assessment of GM Banana: The Effect on Microflora Community in Rrhizosphere Soil

Chen, H. W., J. W. Chen, C. S. Tseng, M. T. Wu, and Y. K. Tu. 2017. Biosafety assessment of GM banana: The effect on microflora community in rrhizosphere soil. J. Taiwan Agric. Res. 66(2):134–145.

Biosafety Assessment of GM Banana: The Effect on Microflora Community in Rrhizosphere Soil

Han-Wei Chen1, Jing-Wen Chen2, Ching-Shan Tseng1, Min-Tze Wu3, and Yuan-Kai Tu1,*


    The environmental impacts on genetically modified (GM) crops are still unknown. This study aimed to explore the potential risk of pflp (plant ferredoxin-like protein) transgenic banana lines on rhizosphere microbial community and to investigate whether the gene flow occurs through horizontal gene transfer. The conventional plate counting method and the community-level physiological profiles (CLPP) method were used for evaluating rhizosphere microbial community. The results showed that most rhizosphere soil samples taken from pflp transgenic banana lines had reduced levels of Azotobacteria and nitrite oxidizing bacteria at respective 5.38–5.96 (log10 CFU g-1) one month after transplanting. However, no significant difference was found in the quantity of culturable microorganisms in rhizosphere soils 3 years after transplanting. In this study, 2,052 colonies were analyzed for horizontal gene transfer, but no nptII fragment was detected. Results of cluster analysis for CLPP showed no difference between transgenic banana lines and their non-transgenic counterparts in microflora community composition. In addition, no significant difference was observed in species diversity and evenness of rhizosphere microorganisms between GM and non-GM banana plants. We conclude that pflp transgenic banana lines may not affect the diversity of rhizosphere microflora community structure, but have slight effects on microbial community in rhizosphere during first few months after transplanting.

Key words: Genetic modified crops, Biosafety assessment, Rhizosphere, Microflora community.

* Corresponding author, e-mail: yktu@tari.gov.tw
1 Assistant Research Fellows, Biotechnology Division, Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute, Taichung, Taiwan, ROC.
2 Assistant Research Fellow, Crop Improvement Division, Taitung District Agricultural Research and Extension Station, Taitung, Taiwan, ROC.
3 Research Fellow and Director, Plant Technology Laboratories, Agricultural Technology Research Institute, Hsinchu, Taiwan, ROC.