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Brazilian study demonstrates that GM plants do not affect the microbiota
Posttime: 2021-06-15    Author: Shandong CYNDA (Group) Co., Ltd.

By Leonardo Gottems, reporter for AgroPages

The planting and cultural treatments of GMOs (genetically modified organisms), or transgenics, as they are better known, do not alter the beneficial microorganisms found in the soil, according to monitoring carried out in the cultivation areas for various plant species.

Monitoring carried out by the researcher from the Institute of Biomedical Sciences (ICB/USP), Welington L. Araújo, in partnership with DSMA Biotecnologia, for Monsanto, after the planting of RR soy, shows that the plants and their management did not affect the quality and diversity of the soil microbial community.
“The monitoring was carried out for five years, using different assessment techniques that made it possible to compare the soil microbiota in nine demonstrated areas,” explained Araújo after a survey conducted in several Brazilian municipalities.

Other studies, including genetically modified corn and eucalyptus, were also carried out by the DSMA in partnership with producing companies, as a prerequisite for commercial release of these plants.

“These studies involved the DNA sequencing of fungi and bacteria from the evaluated soil and characterizing it in this microbial community, present in an area of GMO cultivation and traditional culture, in different places and times,” says Marília Sanchez, technical coordinator of DSMA Biotechnology.

According to Marília, studies carried out with different plant species have shown that the sampling time and the place of cultivation have a greater effect on this community than the plant's genotype. “So far, these data show us that areas of traditional cultivation and GMOs have similar diversity, not diverging in terms of species and ecological functions,” she said.

The microbial community in the soil is composed of fungi, bacteria, nematodes and other organisms that inhabit the soil and act directly and indirectly on agricultural productivity. “Considering the importance of these microorganisms in soil quality, the CTNBio (National Biosafety Technical Commission) determines that for the commercial release of a genetically modified plant, it is important to understand the impact of this crop on soil quality and especially to non-target organisms, including the microbiota residing in the soil,” advised Cristiane Andreote, director of Andrios Consultoria.

One of the tools to obtain the analysis of DNA sequencing data from microorganisms present in the soil was developed by the startup Biome4All. With this new technology, it is possible to improve the analysis of the interaction between GM plants and the microbial community in the soil, helping the public sector and companies in decision making regarding their cultivation.


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