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Document type
  • Peer-reviewed journal article
GE organism
  • maize
GE trait
  • insect resistance
  • Canada


  • no effect
  • mixed

Development, yield, grain moisture and nitrogen uptake of Bt corn hybrids and their conventional near-isolines

Ma, BL; Subedi, KD
Field Crops Research. 2005 September. 93(2-Jan):199–211

Link to full text (journal may charge for access)

DOI: 10.1016/j.fcr.2004.09.021


There are concerns over the economic benefits of corn (Zea mays L.) hybrids with the Bt trait transferred from Bacillus thuringiensis. A field experiment including three to seven pairs of commercial hybrids and their transgenic Bt near-isolines were grown side-by-side for three consecutive years in Ottawa, Canada (45°17′N, 75°45′W; 93 m above sea level) to determine (i) which hybrid had the highest yielding potential, (ii) if there was a differential response of Bt and non-Bt hybrids to N application, and (iii) under natural infestation of European corn borer (ECB), whether there was a yield advantage of Bt over non-Bt hybrids to justify their cost. We found that some of the Bt hybrids took 2–3 additional days to reach silking and maturity, and produced a similar or up to 12% lower grain yields with 3–5% higher grain moisture at maturity, in comparison with their non-Bt counterpart. Although N application increased grain yield and N uptake in 2 of the 3 years, there was no N-by-hybrid interaction on yield or other agronomic traits. Most Bt hybrids had similar to or lower total N content in grain with higher N in stover than their respective non-Bt near-isolines. Under extreme weather conditions (e.g. cool air temperature at planting and severe drought during the development), some of the hybrids (both Bt and non-Bt) required up to 400 additional crop heat units (CHU) to reach physiological maturity than indicated by the supplying companies. Our data suggest that within the same maturity group, it was the superior hybrids (non-Bt trait) that led to the greatest N accumulation, and the highest grain yield. Under the conditions tested, there was no yield advantage of Bt hybrids in comparison with their conventional counterparts when stalk lodging and breakage of the non-Bt counterpart by ECB was low to moderate.


Corn or maize; Grain yield; Nitrogen response; Bt hybrids; Transgenic isolines; Agronomic benefit


Funding source
  • Not reported
Funding country
  • Not reported
Funding type
  • Not reported

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Cite this study


Ma, BL, KD Subedi. "Development, yield, grain moisture and nitrogen uptake of Bt corn hybrids and their conventional near-isolines." Field Crops Research 93.2-Jan (2005): 199–211. Web. 14 Apr. 2024.


Ma, BL., & Subedi, KD. (2005). Development, yield, grain moisture and nitrogen uptake of Bt corn hybrids and their conventional near-isolines. Field Crops Research, 93(2-Jan), 199–211. doi:10.1016/j.fcr.2004.09.021

Please verify citations before use, citations are automatically generated based on information stored within the GENERA database and therefore may or may not be correct.