Crop and Pasture Science Crop and Pasture Science Society
Plant sciences, sustainable farming systems and food quality

Status of DIMBOA and phenolic acids in transgenic Bt corn

C. R. Nie A B C , S. M. Luo A , C. X. Lin B , R. S. Zeng A , J. H. Huang A and J. W. Wang A
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Institute of Tropical and Subtropical Ecology, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, 510642, P.R. China.

B Centre for Ecological and Environmental Technologies, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, 510642, P.R. China.

C Institute of Crop Genetics and Breeding, Foshan University, Foshan, 528231, P.R. China.

Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 56(8) 833-837
Submitted: 19 December 2004  Accepted: 23 June 2005   Published: 25 August 2005


Experiments were conducted to investigate the status of DIMBOA (2,4-dihydroxy-7-methoxy-1,4-benzoxazin-3-one) and phenolic acids in leaves of some transgenic Bt corn hybrids. Comparison between Bt corn hybrids and their corresponding non-transgenic near-isogenic lines suggested that the introduction of the Bt gene has adverse effects on the biosynthesis and accumulation of DIMBOA and some phenolic acids, such as ferulic acid, in the corn plants. Under conditions of either water or nitrogen stress, the accumulation of DIMBOA in the leaves of the Bt corns could be enhanced. The results of this study suggest that caution must be taken when considering the introduction of Bt corns into China because Bt corns may have a weaker capacity, relative to traditional Chinese corn hybrids, to synthesise DIMBOA and some forms of phenolic acids in the leaves and, therefore, reduce the plant’s resistance to pathogens, diseases, and pests other than the targetted corn borer.

Additional keywords: Bt protein, water stress, nitrogen stress.


We thank Dr Cindy Nakatus at the Purdue University (USA) and Professor Jingrui Dai at the China Agricultural University for kindly providing the transgenic Bt corn hybrids used in this study. This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Projects No. 30270270 and No. 30270230) and the Guangdong Provincial Natural Science Foundation (Projects No. 021043, No. 000569, and No. 039254).


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