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Bumblebee venom serine protease increases fungal insecticidal virulence by inducing insect melanization.


ABSTRACT: Insect-killing (entomopathogenic) fungi have high potential for controlling agriculturally harmful pests. However, their pathogenicity is slow, and this is one reason for their poor acceptance as a fungal insecticide. The expression of bumblebee, Bombus ignitus, venom serine protease (VSP) by Beauveria bassiana (ERL1170) induced melanization of yellow spotted longicorn beetles (Psacothea hilaris) as an over-reactive immune response, and caused substantially earlier mortality in beet armyworm (Spodopetra exigua) larvae when compared to the wild type. No fungal outgrowth or sporulation was observed on the melanized insects, thus suggesting a self-restriction of the dispersal of the genetically modified fungus in the environment. The research is the first use of a multi-functional bumblebee VSP to significantly increase the speed of fungal pathogenicity, while minimizing the dispersal of the fungal transformant in the environment.

SUBMITTER: Kim JS 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC3633896 | BioStudies | 2013-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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