EFFECT OF A GENETICALLY-ENGINEERED ENDOPHYTE ON THE YIELD AND NUTRIENT CONTENT OF CORN

Author(s): HORNICK SHARON B

Interpretive Summary:

Initial field trials with corn inoculated with a genetically-engineered endophyte, Cxc/Bt, to control European corn borer, a major corn pest, showed a 27% yield reduction and significantly lower levels of Cu in the diagnostic leaves, stalks, and grain compared with the control plants. A subsequent greenhouse experiment with corn grown in nutrient solutions containing 4 levels of copper verified this finding that at low Cu levels, Cxc/Bt can interfere with Cu availability in the plant which could reduce yields, especially at high fertilizer N levels. The results obtained indicate that in the development of a biological insect control, not only is there a need to test direct effects on the insect, but the indirect effects on the plant, such as growth, nutrient content and metabolic changes must also be evaluated.

Contact:
     SOIL-MICROBIAL SYSTEMS LA
     RM 108, BG 318, BARC-EAST
     BELTSVILLE
     MD 20705
     FAX: 301-504-8370
     Email:

ARS Report Number: 0000032782


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