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Bacterial communities associated with the rhizosphere of transgenic Bt 176 maize (Zea mays) and its non transgenic counterpart

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The effect of transgenic Bt 176 maize on the rhizosphere bacterial community has been studied with a polyphasic approach by comparing the rhizosphere of Bt maize cultivated in greenhouse with that of its non transgenic counterpart grown in the same conditions. In the two plants the bacterial counts of the copiotrophic, oligotrophic and sporeforming bacteria, and the community level catabolic profiling, showed no significant differences, differences between the rhizosphere and bulk soil bacterial communities were evidenced. Automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA) showed differences also in the rhizosphere communities at different plant ages, as well as between the two plant types. ARISA fingerprinting patterns of soil bacterial communities exposed to root growth solutions, collected from transgenic and non transgenic plants grown in hydroponic conditions, were grouped separately by principal component analysis suggesting that root exudates could determine the selection of different bacterial communities.

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