Rice is a staple food crop; however, the threat of pests leads to a serious decline in its output and quality. The CryAb/CryAc gene, encodes a synthetic fusion Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) crystal protein, was introduced into rice MingHui63 to produce insect-resistant rice TT51. This study was undertaken to investigate potential unintended effects of TT51 on the reproductive system in male rats. Male rats were treated with diets containing 60% of either TT51 or MingHui63 by weight, nutritionally balanced to an AIN93G diet, for 90days. An additional negative control group of rats were fed with a rice-based AIN93G diet. Body weights, food intake, hematology, serum chemistry, serum hormone levels, sperm parameters and relative organ/body weights were measured, and gross as well as microscopic pathology were examined. No diet-related significant differences in the values of response variables were observed between rats that were fed with diet containing transgenic TT51, MingHui63 and the control in this 90-day feeding study. In addition, necropsy and histopathology examination indicated no treatment-related changes. The results from the present study indicated that TT51 does not appear to exert any effect on the reproductive system in male rats compared with MingHui63 or the control.
Keywords: Bacillus thuringiensis; Reproductive toxicity; Sperm parameter; Transgenic rice.
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