Computational identification and evolutionary analysis of toxins in Mosquitocidal Bacillus thuringiensis strain S2160-1.
ABSTRACT: Mosquitocidal Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) strain S2160-1 was proposed to be an alternative to Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis (Bti). Discovering and validating a toxic gene by experimentation was a complex and time-consuming task, which can benefit from high-throughput sequencing analysis. In this research, we predicted and identified toxic proteins in the strain S2160-1 based on the draft whole genome sequence data. Through a local BLASP, 46 putative toxins were identified in S2160-1 genome, by searching against a customized B. thuringiensis toxin proteins database containing 653 protein or peptide sequences retrieved from public accessible resources and PCR/clone results in our laboratory (e value?=?1e?-?5). These putative toxins consist of 42 to 1216 amino acids. The molecular weights are ranged from 4.86 to 137.28 kDa. The isoelectric point of these candidate toxins varied from 4.3 to 10.06, and 16 out of which had a pH greater than 7.0. The analysis of tertiary structure and PFAM domain showed that 12 potential plasmid toxins may share higher similarity (9/12 QMEAN4 score?>?0.3) with known Bt toxins. In addition, functional annotation indicated that these 12 potential toxins were involved in "sporulation resulting in formation of a cellular spore" and "toxin activity". Moreover, multiple alignment and phylogenetic analysis were carried out to elucidate the evolutionary relationship among 101 known crystal or toxin proteins from public database and them with MEGA 6.0. It indicated that PS2160P2_1 and PS2160P2_153 may be potential Cry4-like toxins in Bt S2160-1. This research may lay the foundation for future functional analysis of Bt S2160-1 toxin proteins to reveal their biological roles.
Project description:Strains of Bacillus sphaericus exhibit varying levels of virulence against mosquito larvae. The most potent strain, B. sphaericus 2362, which is the active ingredient in the commercial product VectoLex®, together with another well-known larvicide Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis, are used to control vector and nuisance mosquito larvae in many regions of the world. Although not all strains of B. sphaericus are mosquitocidal, lethal strains produce one or two combinations of three different types of toxins. These are (1) the binary toxin (Bin) composed of two proteins of 42 kDa (BinA) and 51 kDa (BinB), which are synthesized during sporulation and co-crystallize, (2) the soluble mosquitocidal toxins (Mtx1, Mtx2 and Mtx3) produced during vegetative growth, and (3) the two-component crystal toxin (Cry48Aa1/Cry49Aa1). Non-mosquitocidal toxins are also produced by certain strains of B. sphaericus, for examples sphaericolysin, a novel insecticidal protein toxic to cockroaches. Larvicides based on B. sphaericus-based have the advantage of longer persistence in treated habitats compared to B. thuringiensis subsp. israelensis. However, resistance is a much greater threat, and has already emerged at significant levels in field populations in China and Thailand treated with B. sphaericus. This likely occurred because toxicity depends principally on Bin rather than various combinations of crystal (Cry) and cytolytic (Cyt) toxins present in B. thuringiensis subsp. israelensis. Here we review both the general characteristics of B. sphaericus, particularly as they relate to larvicidal isolates, and strategies or considerations for engineering more potent strains of this bacterium that contain built-in mechanisms that delay or overcome resistance to Bin in natural mosquito populations.
Project description:<b>Background: </b>Aminopeptidase N (APN) type proteins isolated from several species of lepidopteran insects have been implicated as Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxin-binding proteins (receptors) for Cry toxins. We examined brush border membrane vesicle (BBMV) proteins from the mosquito Anopheles quadrimaculatus to determine if APNs from this organism would bind mosquitocidal Cry toxins that are active to it.<br><br><b>Results: </b>A 100-kDa protein with APN activity (APNAnq 100) was isolated from the brush border membrane of Anopheles quadrimaculatus. Native state binding analysis by surface plasmon resonance shows that APNAnq 100 forms tight binding to a mosquitocidal Bt toxin, Cry11Ba, but not to Cry2Aa, Cry4Ba or Cry11Aa.<br><br><b>Conclusion: </b>An aminopeptidase from Anopheles quadrimaculatus mosquitoes is a specific binding protein for Bacillus thuringiensis Cry11Ba.
Project description:<i>Bacillus thuringiensis</i> emerged as a major bioinsecticide on the global market. It offers a valuable alternative to chemical products classically utilized to control pest insects. Despite the efficiency of several strains and products available on the market, the scientific community is always on the lookout for novel toxins that can replace or supplement the existing products. In this study, H3, a novel B. thuringiensis strain showing mosquitocidal activity, was isolated from Lebanese soil and characterized at an in vivo, genomic and proteomic levels. H3 parasporal crystal is toxic on its own but displays an unusual killing profile with a higher LC50 than the reference <i>B. thuringiensis</i> serovar israelensis crystal proteins. In addition, H3 has a different toxicity order: it is more toxic to <i>Aedes albopictus</i> and <i>Anopheles gambiae</i> than to <i>Culex pipiens</i> Whole genome sequencing and crystal analysis revealed that H3 can produce eleven novel Cry proteins, eight of which are assembled in genes with an <i>orf1-gap-orf2</i> organization, where <i>orf2</i> is a potential Cry4-type crystallization domain. Moreover, pH3-180, the toxin-carrying plasmid, holds a wide repertoire of mobile genetic elements that amount to <i>ca</i> 22% of its size., including novel insertion sequences and class II transposable elements Two other large plasmids present in H3 carry genetic determinants for the production of many interesting molecules - such as chitinase, cellulase and bacitracin - that may add up to H3 bioactive properties. This study therefore reports a novel mosquitocidal <i>Bacillus thuringiensis</i> strain with unusual Cry toxin genes in a rich mobile DNA environment.<b>IMPORTANCE</b> <i>Bacillus thuringiensis</i>, a soil entomopathogenic bacteria, is at the base of many sustainable eco-friendly bio-insecticides. Hence stems the need to continually characterize insecticidal toxins. H3 is an anti-dipteran <i>B. thuringiensis</i> strain, isolated from Lebanese soil, whose parasporal crystal contains eleven novel Cry toxins and no Cyt toxins. In addition to its individual activity, H3 showed potential as a co-formulant with classic commercialized <i>B. thuringiensis</i> products, to delay the emergence of resistance and to shorten the time required for killing. On a genomic level, H3 holds three large plasmids, one of which carries the toxin-coding genes, with four occurrences of the distinct <i>orf1-gap-orf2</i> organization. Moreover, this plasmid is extremely rich in mobile genetic elements, unlike its two co-residents. This highlights the important underlying evolutionary traits between toxin-carrying plasmids and the adaptation of a <i>B. thuringiensis</i> strain to its environment and insect host spectrum.
Project description:Aedes albopictus transmits several arboviral infections. In the absence of vaccines, control of mosquito populations is the only strategy to prevent vector-borne diseases. As part of the search for novel, biological and environmentally friendly strategies for vector control, the isolation of new bacterial species with mosquitocidal activity represents a promising approach. However, new bacterial isolates may be difficult to grow and genetically manipulate. To overcome these limits, here we set up a system allowing the expression of mosquitocidal bacterial toxins in the well-known genetic background of Bacillus subtilis. As a proof of this concept, the ability of B. subtilis to express individual or combinations of toxins of Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti) was studied. Different expression systems in which toxin gene expression was driven by IPTG-inducible, auto-inducible or toxin gene-specific promoters were developed. The larvicidal activity of the resulting B. subtilis strains against second-instar Ae. albopictus larvae allowed studying the activity of individual toxins or the synergistic interaction among Cry and Cyt toxins. The expression systems here presented lay the foundation for a better improved system to be used in the future to characterize the larvicidal activity of toxin genes from new environmental isolates.
Project description:Bacillus cereus sensu lato also known as B. cereus group is composed of an ecologically diverse bacterial group with an increasing number of related species, some of which are medically or agriculturally important. Numerous e?orts have been undertaken to allow presumptive di?erentiation of B. cereus group species from one another. FCC41 is a Bacillus sp. strain toxic against mosquito species like Aedes aegypti, Aedes (Ochlerotatus) albifasciatus, Culex pipiens, Culex quinquefasciatus, and Culex apicinus, some of them responsible for the transmission of vector-borne diseases. Here, we report the complete genome sequence of FCC41 strain, which consists of one circular chromosome and eight circular plasmids ranging in size from 8 to 490?kb. This strain harbors six crystal protein genes, including cry24Ca, two cry4-like and two cry52-like, a cry41-like parasporin gene and multiple virulence factors. The phylogenetic analysis of the whole-genome sequence of this strain with molecular approaches places this strain into the Bacillus wiedmannii cluster. However, according with phenotypical characteristics such as the mosquitocidal activity due to the presence of Cry proteins found in the parasporal body and cry genes encoded in plasmids of different sizes, indicate that this strain could be renamed as B. wiedmannii biovar thuringiensis strain FCC41.
Project description:Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is a Gram positive, spore-forming bacterium that synthesizes parasporal crystalline inclusions containing Cry and Cyt proteins, some of which are toxic against a wide range of insect orders, nematodes and human-cancer cells. These toxins have been successfully used as bioinsecticides against caterpillars, beetles, and flies, including mosquitoes and blackflies. Bt also synthesizes insecticidal proteins during the vegetative growth phase, which are subsequently secreted into the growth medium. These proteins are commonly known as vegetative insecticidal proteins (Vips) and hold insecticidal activity against lepidopteran, coleopteran and some homopteran pests. A less well characterized secretory protein with no amino acid similarity to Vip proteins has shown insecticidal activity against coleopteran pests and is termed Sip (secreted insecticidal protein). Bin-like and ETX_MTX2-family proteins (Pfam PF03318), which share amino acid similarities with mosquitocidal binary (Bin) and Mtx2 toxins, respectively, from Lysinibacillus sphaericus, are also produced by some Bt strains. In addition, vast numbers of Bt isolates naturally present in the soil and the phylloplane also synthesize crystal proteins whose biological activity is still unknown. In this review, we provide an updated overview of the known active Bt toxins to date and discuss their activities.
Project description:A gene (cbm71) encoding a 71,128-Da mosquitocidal protein (Cbm71) was obtained by screening a size-fractionated XbaI digest of total genomic DNA from Clostridium bifermentans subsp. malaysia CH18 with two gene-specific oligonucleotide probes. The sequence of the Cbm71 protein, as deduced from the sequence of cbm71, corresponds to that of the 66-kDa protein previously described as one of the mosquitocidal components of C. bifermentans subsp. malaysia. Cbm71 shows limited similarities with Bacillus thuringiensis delta-endotoxins, especially in the four first conserved blocks. However, Cbm71 was not immunologically related to any of the Cry toxins and thus belongs to a novel class of mosquitocidal protein. The cbm71 gene was expressed in a nontoxic strain of B. thuringiensis, and Cbm71 was produced during sporulation and secreted to the supernatant of culture. Trichloroacetic-precipitated supernatant preparations were toxic for mosquito larvae of the species Aedes aegypti, Culex pipiens, and Anopheles stephensi.
Project description:Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis is a bacterium producing crystals containing Cry and Cyt proteins, which are toxic for mosquito larvae. Nothing is known about the interaction between crystal toxins and decaying leaf litter, which is a major component of several mosquito breeding sites and represents an important food source. In the present work, we investigated the behavior of B. thuringiensis subsp. israelensis toxic crystals sprayed on leaf litter. In the presence of leaf litter, a 60% decrease in the amount of Cyt toxin detectable by immunology (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays [ELISAs]) was observed, while the respective proportions of Cry toxins were not affected. The toxicity of Cry toxins toward Aedes aegypti larvae was not affected by leaf litter, while the synergistic effect of Cyt toxins on all B. thuringiensis subsp. israelensis Cry toxins was decreased by about 20% when mixed with leaf litter. The toxicity of two commercial B. thuringiensis subsp. israelensis strains (VectoBac WG and VectoBac 12AS) and a laboratory-produced B. thuringiensis subsp. israelensis strain decreased by about 70% when mixed with leaf litter. Taken together, these results suggest that Cyt toxins interact with leaf litter, resulting in a decreased toxicity of B. thuringiensis subsp. israelensis in litter-rich environments and thereby dramatically reducing the efficiency of mosquitocidal treatments.
Project description:The Cry3Aa and Cry3Bb insecticidal proteins of Bacillus thuringiensis are used in biopesticides and transgenic crops to control larvae of leaf-feeding beetles and rootworms. Cadherins localized in the midgut epithelium are identified as receptors for Cry toxins in lepidopteran and dipteran larvae. Previously, we discovered that a peptide of a toxin-binding cadherin expressed in Escherichia coli functions as a synergist for Cry1A toxicity against lepidopteran larvae and Cry4 toxicity against dipteran larvae. Here we report that the fragment containing the three most C-terminal cadherin repeats (CR) from the cadherin of the western corn rootworm binds toxin and enhances Cry3 toxicity to larvae of naturally susceptible species. The cadherin fragment (CR8 to CR10 [CR8-10]) of western corn rootworm Diabrotica virgifera virgifera was expressed in E. coli as an inclusion body. By an enzyme-linked immunosorbent microplate assay, we demonstrated that the CR8-10 peptide binds alpha-chymotrypsin-treated Cry3Aa and Cry3Bb toxins at high affinity (11.8 nM and 1.4 nM, respectively). Coleopteran larvae ingesting CR8-10 inclusions had increased susceptibility to Cry3Aa or Cry3Bb toxin. The Cry3 toxin-enhancing effect of CR8-10 was demonstrated for Colorado potato beetle Leptinotarsa decemlineata, southern corn rootworm Diabrotica undecimpunctata howardi, and western corn rootworm. The extent of Cry3 toxin enhancement, which ranged from 3- to 13-fold, may have practical applications for insect control. Cry3-containing biopesticides that include a cadherin fragment could be more efficacious. And Bt corn (i.e., corn treated with B. thuringiensis to make it resistant to pests) coexpressing Cry3Bb and CR8-10 could increase the functional dose level of the insect toxic activity, reducing the overall resistance risk.
Project description:Two new crystal protein genes, cry19A and orf2, isolated from Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. jegathesan were cloned and characterized. The cry19A gene encodes a 74.7-kDa protein, and the orf2 gene encodes a 60-kDa protein. Cry19A contains the five conserved blocks present in most B. thuringiensis delta-endotoxins. The ORF2 amino acid sequence is similar to that of the carboxy terminus of Cry4 proteins. The cry 19A gene was expressed independently or in combination with orf2 in a crystal-negative B. thuringiensis host. The proteins accumulated as inclusions. Purified inclusions containing either Cry19A alone or Cry19A and ORF2 together were toxic to Anopheles stephensi and Culex pipiens mosquito larvae. They were more toxic to C. pipiens than to A. stephensi. However, inclusions containing Cry19A and ORF2 together were more toxic than inclusions of Cry19A alone but less toxic than the wild-type inclusions of B. thuringiensis subsp. jegathesan.