Identification of a native Bacillus thuringiensis strain from Sri Lanka active against Dipel-resistant Plutella xylostella.
ABSTRACT: Background:Biopesticides based on strains of the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) are used globally for effective and environmentally friendly pest control. The most serious threat to the sustainable use of these microbial pesticides is the development of resistance on targeted pests. Populations of Plutella xylostella (diamondback moth) have evolved field resistance to Bt pesticides at diverse locations worldwide. Discovery of novel Bt strains with varied toxin profiles that overcome resistance is one of the strategies to increase sustainability of Bt pesticides against P. xylostella. In this study, we report isolation and characterization of a Bt strain named AB1 from Sri Lanka displaying toxicity towards larvae of P. xylostella resistant to the commercial Bt pesticide Dipel. Methods:Strains of Bt from diverse environments in Sri Lanka were evaluated for protein crystal production through Differential Interference Contrast (DIC) microscopic examination, and for insecticidal activity against P. xylostella in bioassays. The genome of the AB1 strain was sequenced by Hiseq Illumina sequencing to identify the insecticidal genes present in the genome and nano liquid chromatography followed by tandem mass spectrometry (nanoLC/MS/MS) of purified crystal proteins of AB1 was performed to identify the expressed insecticidal proteins. Multilocus sequence typing and Gyrase B gene sequence analyses were performed to identify the phylogenetic origin of the AB1 strain. Results:The AB1 strain was identified as producing high levels of bipyramidal crystals and displaying insecticidal activity against susceptible and Dipel-resistant strains of P. xylostella. Multilocus sequence typing and phylogenetic analysis of the Gyrase B gene identified that AB1 belongs to the B. thuringiensis subsp. aizawai serotype. Comparative analysis of genomic and proteomic data showed that among the insecticidal protein coding genes annotated from the AB1 genome (cry1Aa, cry1Ca, cry1Da, cry1Ia, cry2Ab and cry9), Cry1Ca and Cry1Da toxins represented most of the toxin fraction in parasporal crystals from AB1. Overall findings warrant further development of B. thuringiensis subsp. aizawai AB1 strain as a pesticide to control P. xylostella.
Project description:Bacillus thuringiensis X022, a novel strain isolated from soil in China, produces diamond-shaped parasporal crystals. Specific mineral nutrients, such as Mg, Cu, and Mn, influence insecticidal crystal proteins (ICP) expression and the effects of these elements vary significantly. However, the molecular mechanisms of the effects caused by mineral elements have yet to be reported.The ICP are mainly composed of Cry1Ca, Cry1Ac, and Cry1Da, which have molecular weights of about 130 kDa. ICP production was most efficient when Cu(2+) was added at concentrations ranging from 10(-6) to 10(-4) mol/L at an initial pH of 8.0. Addition of Cu(2+) also evidently increased the toxicity of fermentation broth to Spodoptera exigua and Helicoverpa armigera. After analyzing changes in proteome and fermentation parameters caused by Cu(2+) addition, we propose that Cu(2+) increases PhaR expression and consequently changes the carbon flow. More carbon sources was used to produce intracellular poly-?-hydroxybutyrate (PHB). Increases in PHB as a storage material bring about increases of ICP production.Bacillus thuringiensis X022 mainly expresses Cry1Ca, Cry1Ac, and Cry1Da. Cu(2+) increases the expression of Cry1Da, Cry1Ca, and also enhances the toxicity of fermentation broth to S. exigua and H. armigera.
Project description:In this work, we report the genome sequencing of two Bacillus thuringiensis strains using Illumina next-generation sequencing technology (NGS). Strain Hu4-2, toxic to many lepidopteran pest species and to some mosquitoes, encoded genes for two insecticidal crystal (Cry) proteins, cry1Ia and cry9Ea, and a vegetative insecticidal protein (Vip) gene, vip3Ca2. Strain Leapi01 contained genes coding for seven Cry proteins (cry1Aa, cry1Ca, cry1Da, cry2Ab, cry9Ea and two cry1Ia gene variants) and a vip3 gene (vip3Aa10). A putative novel insecticidal protein gene 1143 bp long was found in both strains, whose sequences exhibited 100% nucleotide identity. The predicted protein showed 57 and 100% pairwise identity to protein sequence 72 from a patented Bt strain (US8318900) and to a putative 41.9-kDa insecticidal toxin from Bacillus cereus, respectively. The 41.9-kDa protein, containing a C-terminal 6× HisTag fusion, was expressed in Escherichia coli and tested for the first time against four lepidopteran species (Mamestra brassicae, Ostrinia nubilalis, Spodoptera frugiperda and S. littoralis) and the green-peach aphid Myzus persicae at doses as high as 4.8 µg/cm2 and 1.5 mg/mL, respectively. At these protein concentrations, the recombinant 41.9-kDa protein caused no mortality or symptoms of impaired growth against any of the insects tested, suggesting that these species are outside the protein's target range or that the protein may not, in fact, be toxic. While the use of the polymerase chain reaction has allowed a significant increase in the number of Bt insecticidal genes characterized to date, novel NGS technologies promise a much faster, cheaper and efficient screening of Bt pesticidal proteins.
Project description:Relatively recent evidence indicates that ABCC2 transporters play a main role in the mode of action of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) Cry1A-type proteins. Mapping of major Cry1A resistance genes has linked resistance to the ABCC2 locus in Heliothis virescens, Plutella xylostella, Trichoplusia ni and Bombyx mori, and mutations in this gene have been found in three of these Bt-resistant strains.We have used a colony of Spodoptera exigua (Xen-R) highly resistant to a Bt commercial bioinsecticide to identify regions in the S. exigua genome containing loci for major resistance genes by using bulk segregant analysis (BSA). Results reveal a region containing three genes from the ABCC family (ABBC1, ABBC2 and ABBC3) and a mutation in one of them (ABBC2) as responsible for the resistance of S. exigua to the Bt commercial product and to its key Spodoptera-active ingredients, Cry1Ca. In contrast to all previously described mutations in ABCC2 genes that directly or indirectly affect the extracellular domains of the membrane protein, the ABCC2 mutation found in S. exigua affects an intracellular domain involved in ATP binding. Functional analyses of ABBC2 and ABBC3 support the role of both proteins in the mode of action of Bt toxins in S. exigua. Partial silencing of these genes with dsRNA decreased the susceptibility of wild type larvae to both Cry1Ac and Cry1Ca. In addition, reduction of ABBC2 and ABBC3 expression negatively affected some fitness components and induced up-regulation of arylphorin and repat5, genes that respond to Bt intoxication and that are found constitutively up-regulated in the Xen-R strain.The current results show the involvement of different members of the ABCC family in the mode of action of B. thuringiensis proteins and expand the role of the ABCC2 transporter in B. thuringiensis resistance beyond the Cry1A family of proteins to include Cry1Ca.
Project description:We report the draft genome sequences of two insecticidal strains against lepidopteran pests, Bacillus thuringiensis serovar kurstaki strain BP865, an isolate from the South Korean phylloplane, and strain HD-133, a reference strain of B. thuringiensis serovar aizawai.
Project description:Genetically modified crops that express insecticidal Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) proteins have become a primary approach for control of lepidopteran (moth) and coleopteran (beetle) pests that feed by chewing the plants. However, the sap-sucking insects (Hemiptera) are not particularly susceptible to Bt toxins. In this study, we describe two Cry toxins (Cry64Ba and Cry64Ca) from Bt strain 1012 that showed toxicity against two important hemipteran rice pests, Laodelphax striatellus and Sogatella furcifera Both of these proteins contain an ETX/MTX2 domain and share common sequence features with the ?-pore-forming toxins. Coexpression of cry64Ba and cry64Ca genes in the acrystalliferous Bt strain HD73- resulted in high insecticidal activity against both hemipteran pests. No toxicity was observed on other pests such as Ostrinia furnacalis, Plutella xylostella, or Colaphellus bowringi Also, no hemolytic activity or toxicity against cancer cells was detected. Binding assays showed specific binding of the Cry64Ba/Cry64Ca toxin complex to brush border membrane vesicles isolated from L. striatellus Cry64Ba and Cry64Ca are Bt Cry toxins highly effective against hemipteran pests and could provide a novel strategy for the environmentally friendly biological control of rice planthoppers in transgenic plants.IMPORTANCE In Asia, rice is an important staple food, whose production is threatened by rice planthoppers. To date, no effective Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) protein has been shown to have activity against rice planthoppers. We cloned two Bt toxin genes from Bt strain 1012 that showed toxicity against small brown planthoppers (Laodelphax striatellus) and white-backed planthoppers (Sogatella furcifera). To our knowledge, the proteins encoded by the cry64Ba and cry64Ca genes are the most efficient insecticidal Bt Cry proteins with activity against hemipteran insects reported so far. Cry64Ba and Cry64Ca showed no toxicity against some lepidopteran or coleopteran pests. These two proteins should be able to be used for integrated hemipteran pest management.
Project description:Crystal toxin Cry1Ca from Bacillus thuringiensis has an insecticidal spectrum encompassing lepidopteran insects that are tolerant to current commercially used B. thuringiensis crops (Bt crops) expressing Cry1A toxins and may be useful as a potential bioinsecticide. The mode of action of Cry1A is fairly well understood. However, whether Cry1Ca interacts with the same receptor proteins as Cry1A remains unproven. In the present paper, we first cloned a cadherin-like gene, SeCad1b, from Spodoptera exigua (relatively susceptible to Cry1Ca). SeCad1b was highly expressed in the larval gut but scarcely detected in fat body, Malpighian tubules, and remaining carcass. Second, we bacterially expressed truncated cadherin rSeCad1bp and its interspecific homologue rHaBtRp from Helicoverpa armigera (more sensitive to Cry1Ac) containing the putative toxin-binding regions. Competitive binding assays showed that both Cry1Ca and Cry1Ac could bind to rSeCad1bp and rHaBtRp, and they did not compete with each other. Third, Cry1Ca ingestion killed larvae and decreased the weight of surviving larvae. Dietary introduction of SeCad1b double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) reduced approximately 80% of the target mRNA and partially alleviated the negative effect of Cry1Ca on larval survival and growth. Lastly, rSeCad1bp and rHaBtRp differentially enhanced the negative effects of Cry1Ca and Cry1Ac on the larval mortalities and growth of S. exigua and H. armigera. Thus, we provide the first lines of evidence to suggest that SeCad1b from S. exigua is a functional receptor of Cry1Ca.
Project description:Insecticidal protein genes from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) are expressed by transgenic Bt crops (Bt crops) for effective and environmentally safe pest control. The development of resistance to these insecticidal proteins is considered the most serious threat to the sustainability of Bt crops. Resistance in fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) populations from Puerto Rico to transgenic corn producing the Cry1Fa insecticidal protein resulted, for the first time in the United States, in practical resistance, and Bt corn was withdrawn from the local market. In this study, we used a field-collected Cry1Fa corn-resistant strain (456) of S. frugiperda to identify the mechanism responsible for field-evolved resistance. Binding assays detected reduced Cry1Fa, Cry1Ab, and Cry1Ac but not Cry1Ca toxin binding to midgut brush border membrane vesicles (BBMV) from the larvae of strain 456 compared to that from the larvae of a susceptible (Ben) strain. This binding phenotype is descriptive of the mode 1 type of resistance to Bt toxins. A comparison of the transcript levels for putative Cry1 toxin receptor genes identified a significant downregulation (>90%) of a membrane-bound alkaline phosphatase (ALP), which translated to reduced ALP protein levels and a 75% reduction in ALP activity in BBMV from 456 compared to that of Ben larvae. We cloned and heterologously expressed this ALP from susceptible S. frugiperda larvae and demonstrated that it specifically binds with Cry1Fa toxin. This study provides a thorough mechanistic description of field-evolved resistance to a transgenic Bt crop and supports an association between resistance and reduced Cry1Fa toxin binding and levels of a putative Cry1Fa toxin receptor, ALP, in the midguts of S. frugiperda larvae.
Project description:<b>:</b> Cry toxins are insecticidal proteins produced by <i>Bacillus thuringiensis</i> (Bt). They are used commercially to control insect pests since they are very active in specific insects and are harmless to the environment and human health. The gene encoding ATP-binding cassette subfamily A member 2 (ABCA2) was identified in an analysis of Cry2A toxin resistance genes. However, we do not have direct evidence for the role of ABCA2 for Cry2A toxins or why Cry2A toxin resistance does not cross to other Cry toxins. Therefore, we performed two experiments. First, we edited the <i>ABCA2</i> sequence in <i>Bombyx mori</i> using transcription activator-like effector-nucleases (TALENs) and confirmed the susceptibility-determining ability in a diet overlay bioassay. Strains with C-terminal half-deleted BmABCA2 showed strong and specific resistance to Cry2A toxins; even strains carrying a deletion of 1 to 3 amino acids showed resistance. However, the C-terminal half-deleted strains did not show cross-resistance to other toxins. Second, we conducted a cell swelling assay and confirmed the specific ability of BmABCA2 to Cry2A toxins in HEK239 cells. Those demonstrated that BmABCA2 is a functional receptor for Cry2A toxins and that BmABCA2 deficiency-dependent Cry2A resistance does not confer cross-resistance to Cry1A, Cry1F, Cry1Ca, Cry1Da, or Cry9Aa toxins.
Project description:Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) produce diverse insecticidal proteins to kill insect pests. Nevertheless, evolution of resistance to Bt toxins hampers the sustainable use of this technology. Previously, we identified down-regulation of a trypsin-like serine protease gene PxTryp_SPc1 in the midgut transcriptome and RNA-Seq data of a laboratory-selected Cry1Ac-resistant Plutella xylostella strain, SZ-R. We show here that reduced PxTryp_SPc1 expression significantly reduced caseinolytic and trypsin protease activities affecting Cry1Ac protoxin activation, thereby conferring higher resistance to Cry1Ac protoxin than activated toxin in SZ-R strain. Herein, the full-length cDNA sequence of PxTryp_SPc1 gene was cloned, and we found that it was mainly expressed in midgut tissue in all larval instars. Subsequently, we confirmed that the PxTryp_SPc1 gene was significantly decreased in SZ-R larval midgut and was further reduced when selected with high dose of Cry1Ac protoxin. Moreover, down-regulation of the PxTryp_SPc1 gene was genetically linked to resistance to Cry1Ac in the SZ-R strain. Finally, RNAi-mediated silencing of PxTryp_SPc1 gene expression decreased larval susceptibility to Cry1Ac protoxin in the susceptible DBM1Ac-S strain, supporting that low expression of PxTryp_SPc1 gene is involved in Cry1Ac resistance in P. xylostella. These findings contribute to understanding the role of midgut proteases in the mechanisms underlying insect resistance to Bt toxins.
Project description:Bacillus thuringiensis insecticidal proteins (Bt toxins) have been widely used in crops for agricultural pest management and to reduce the use of chemical insecticides. Here, we have engineered Bt toxin Cry2Ab30 and bioconjugated it with 4"-O-succinyl avermectin (AVM) to synthesize Cry2Ab-AVM bioconjugate. It was found that Cry2Ab-AVM showed higher insecticidal activity against Plutella xylostella, up to 154.4 times compared to Cry2Ab30. The binding results showed that Cry2Ab-AVM binds to the cadherin-like binding protein fragments, the 10th and 11th cadherin repeat domains in the P. xylostella cadherin (PxCR10-11), with a much higher affinity (dissociation equilibrium constant KD = 3.44 nM) than Cry2Ab30 (KD = 28.7 nM). Molecular docking suggested that the macrolide lactone group of Cry2Ab-AVM ligand docking into the PxCR10-11 is a potential mechanism to enhance the binding affinity of Cry2Ab-AVM to PxCR10-11. These findings offer scope for the engineering of Bt toxins by bioconjugation for improved pest management.