▪ Abstract 

Insect resistance, based on (Bt) endotoxins, is the second most widely used trait (after herbicide resistance) in commercial genetically modified (GM) crops. Other modifications for insect resistance, such as proteinase inhibitors and lectins, are also being used in many experimental crops. The extensive testing on nontarget plant-feeding insects and beneficial species that has accompanied the long-term and wide-scale use of Bt plants has not detected significant adverse effects. GM plants expressing other insect-resistant proteins that have a broader spectrum of activity have been tested on only a limited number of nontarget species. Little is known about the persistence of transgene-derived proteins in soil, with the exception of Bt endotoxins, which can persist in soil for several months. Bt plants appear to have little impact on soil biota such as earthworms, collembolans, and general soil microflora. Further research is required on the effects of GM plants on soil processes such as decomposition. Assessment of nontarget impacts is an essential part of the risk assessment process for insect-resistant GM plants.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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