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Pesticide Toxicology Laboratory

ISU Entomology / Pesticide Toxicology Laboratory / Bt corn has a higher lignin content than non-Bt corn

Bt corn has a higher lignin content than non-Bt corn

Authors: Saxena, D., Stotzky, G.
Journal, Volume, Year: American Journal of Botany, volume 88(9):1704-1706, 2001
Summary

Mon 810, Bt 11, and event 176 (Cry1Ab) and isoline corn was grown in the lab and field for 97 days (lab) and 90 days (field). The acetyl bromide method was used to quantify lignin. Stem sections were examined by fluorescence microscopy and staining. Lignin content was observed to be higher in all Bt corn hybrids than their respective isoline. In the field tests, percent lignin ranged from 7.4 to 5.9 for all Bt plants and percent lignin in isolines ranged from 4.5 to 5.1 percent.

Comments

Lignin is structural component conferring strength and stiffness. May breakdown slower or affect decomposer populations. Should test more lines and some non-Bt related lines. Variation within isolines does appear to be smaller than the variation between a Bt corn type and its isoline.