Annals of Microbiology (2013) 63, 1131-1135

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Fengxia Liu, Wenjun Yang, Lifang Ruan and Ming Sun (2013)
A Bacillus thuringiensis host strain with high melanin production for preparation of light-stable biopesticides
Annals of Microbiology 63 (3), 1131-1135
Abstract: The bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis produces a crystal protein with insecticidal properties; however, crystal proteins can be damaged by ultraviolet (UV) radiation. The aim of this study was to improve the stability of the insecticidal crystal protein (ICP) by constructing a mutant line that expresses high levels of the UV light-protecting pigment, melanin. BMB181, a B. thuringiensis mutant with high melanin production, was obtained after sub-culturing BMB171 for several generations at 42 °C. The melanin yield by BMB181 (without tyrosine supplementation) reached 8.55 mg/ml. The electroporation efficiency of BMB181 reached 106 CFU/μg when a 6.7-kb foreign plasmid was used. Microscopic and SDS-PAGE analyses revealed that ICP (CryIAc10; GenBank: AAA73077.1), which is highly toxic to Lepidoptera, was synthesized efficiently by strain BMB181. The insecticidal properties of a recombinant line derived from strain BMB181, designated BMB32 (cry1Ac10/BMB181), was tested against the cotton bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera. After UV irradiation for 4 h, BMB32 had a half maximal inhibitory concentration value of 1.37 μg/ml, whereas the control line BMB31 (cry1Ac10/BMB171) had a median lethal dose value of 25.85 μg/ml. These results indicate that the B. thuringiensis mutant is a candidate for industrial scale production of light-stable insecticides.
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Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
biocontrol - natural enemies
Research topic(s) for beneficials or antagonists:
general biology - morphology - evolution

Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.
Helicoverpa armigera
Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1A-toxin (entomopathogen) Helicoverpa armigera