Influence of transgenic Bt176 and non-transgenic corn silage on the structure of rumen bacterial communities

Lorenzo Brusetti, Elena Crotti, Alberto Tamburini, Davide Cittaro, Virgilio Garavaglia, Eleonora Rolli, Claudia Sorlini, Daniele Daffonchio, Sara Borin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The aim of the present study was to investigate the possible effects of a diet containing transgenic corn (Zea mays), cultivar Bt176 expressing the insecticidal protein CryIA(b), on bacterial diversity of the cow rumen in vivo. Silage prepared with Bt176 corn and its parental non-transgenic cultivar showed no significant differences in either composition or in vivo degradability. Four cows were fed for 35 days with the different silage in a cross-over feeding experiment. The overall structure of rumen bacterial populations was analyzed using a cultivationindependent approach-ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (RISA)-during 3 consecutive days of each feeding trial in all cows. Planktonic bacterial populations present in the rumen fluid and biofilm grown directly on the silage were analyzed separately. Statistical analysis of RISA fingerprints did not reveal significant differences in bacterial community structure between different feedings. Small differences were nevertheless observed between individuals on the structure of bacterial communities directly colonizing the silage material. A diet constituted by transgenic Btcorn silage was demonstrated not to be substantially different from non-transgenic corn silage in terms of composition, digestibility and impact on the overall rumen microbiota.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)925-930
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Microbiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Bacterial population structure
  • Bt176 corn
  • RISA fingerprinting
  • Rumen
  • Silage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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