ATP-Binding Cassette Subfamily A Member 2 is a Functional Receptor for Bacillus thuringiensis Cry2A Toxins in Bombyx mori, but not for Cry1A, Cry1C, Cry1D, Cry1F, or Cry9A Toxins.
ABSTRACT: : Cry toxins are insecticidal proteins produced by Bacillus thuringiensis (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 ABCA2 sequence in Bombyx mori 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) Cry toxins play an important role in the management of insect pests. Resistance to Bt toxins has been reported in many pest insects but the mechanism responsible for this resistance in rice crop pests remains largely unknown. Cadherin is one of several Bt toxin receptors. At present, only one cadherin gene, CsCAD1, has been documented in the striped rice stem borer, Chilo suppressalis. We amplified a nearly full-length transcript of another C. suppressalis cadherin gene, CsCAD2, and found that it has a different expression pattern to CsCAD1. CsCAD1 was highly expressed in fifth and sixth instar larvae, especially in the midgut, while the expression levels of CsCA2 were equably in each developmental stage. Newly hatched larvae were fed on rice smeared with synthesized siRNA to knockdown either CsCAD1 or CsCAD2, and then were fed transgenic rice expressing either the Cry2A or Cry1C toxins. The siRNA-treatment groups had lower mortality and higher survival rates than the control group, suggesting that reduced expression of CsCAD1 or CsCAD2 increased resistance to Cry2A and Cry1C. We conclude that CsCAD1 and CsCAD2 interact with Bt toxins in C. suppressalis and that this interaction could be the mechanism underlying Bt resistance in this insect.
Project description:Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) insecticidal toxins have been globally utilized for control of agricultural insects through spraying or transgenic crops. Binding of Bt toxins to special receptors on midgut epithelial cells of target insects is a key step in the mode of action. Previous studies suggested aminopeptidase N1 (APN1) as a receptor or putative receptor in several lepidopteran insects including Helicoverpa armigera through evidence from RNA interefence-based gene silencing approaches. In the current study we tested the role of APNs in the mode of action of Bt toxins using clustered regularly interspaced palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated protein 9-mediated gene knockout. Three APN genes (HaAPN1, HaAPN2 and HaAPN5) were individually knocked out in a susceptible strain (SCD) of H. armigera to establish three homozygous knockout strains. Qualitative in vitro binding studies indicated binding of Cry1Ac or Cry2Ab to midgut brush border membrane vesicles was not obviously affected by APN knockout. Bioassay results showed that none of the three knockouts had significant changes in susceptibility to Cry1A or Cry2A toxins when compared with the SCD strain. This suggests that the three HaAPN genes we tested may not be critical in the mode of action of Cry1A or Cry2A toxins in H. armigera.
Project description:Bacillus thuringiensis Cry toxins are insecticidal proteins used widely for pest control. They are lethal to a restricted range of insects via specific interactions with insect receptors such as the ABC transporter subfamily members C2 (ABCC2) and C3 (ABCC3). However, it is still unclear how these different receptors contribute to insect susceptibility to Cry1A toxins. Here, we investigated the differences between the silkworm (Bombyx mori) ABCC2 (BmABCC2_S) and ABCC3 (BmABCC3) receptors in mediating Cry toxicity. Compared with BmABCC2_S, BmABCC3 exhibited 80- and 267-fold lower binding affinities to Cry1Aa and Cry1Ab, respectively, and these decreased affinities correlated well with the lower receptor activities of BmABCC3 for these Cry1A toxins. To identify the amino acid residues responsible for these differences, we constructed BmABCC3 variants containing a partial amino acid replacement with extracellular loops (ECLs) from BmABCC2_S. Replacing three amino acids from ECL 1 or 3 increased BmABCC3 activity toward Cry1Aa and enabled its activity toward Cry1Ab. Meanwhile, BmABCC2_S and BmABCC3 exhibited no receptor activities for Cry1Ca, Cry1Da, and Cry3Bb, correlating with markedly lower binding affinities for these Cry toxins. ABCC2 from a Cry1Ab-resistant B. mori strain (BmABCC2_R), which has a tyrosine insertion in ECL 2, displayed 93-fold lower binding affinity to Cry1Ab compared with BmABCC2_S but maintained high binding affinity to Cry1Aa. These results indicate that the Cry toxin-binding affinities of ABCC transporters are largely linked to the level of Cry susceptibility of ABCC-expressing cells and that the ABCC ECL structures determine the specificities to Cry toxins.
Project description:As a pollen feeder, Propylea japonica would be directly exposed to Cry proteins in Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt)-transgenic rice fields. The effect of Cry1C- or Cry2A-containing transgenic rice pollen on the fitness of P. japonica was assessed using two dietary-exposure experiments in the laboratory. In the first experiment, larval developmental time of P. japonica was significantly longer when fed pollen from Bt rice lines rather than control pollen but other life table parameters were not significantly affected. In the second experiment, P. japonica was not affected when fed a rapeseed pollen-based diet containing purified Cry1C or Cry2A at concentrations that were >10-times higher than in pollen, but P. japonica was affected when the diet contained E-64 as a positive control. In both experiments, the stability and bioactivity of the Cry proteins in the food sources and the uptake of the proteins by P. japonica were confirmed. The results show that P. japonica is not sensitive to Cry1C or Cry2A proteins; the effect observed in the first experiment was likely attributable to unknown differences in the nutritional composition of Bt rice pollen. Overall, the data indicate that the growing of Cry1C- or Cry2A-transgenic rice should pose a negligible risk to P. japonica.
Project description:The use of conventional chemical insecticides and bacterial toxins to control lepidopteran pests of global agriculture has imposed significant selection pressure leading to the rapid evolution of insecticide resistance. Transgenic crops (e.g., cotton) expressing the Bt Cry toxins are now used world wide to control these pests, including the highly polyphagous and invasive cotton bollworm Helicoverpa armigera. Since 2004, the Cry2Ab toxin has become widely used for controlling H. armigera, often used in combination with Cry1Ac to delay resistance evolution. Isolation of H. armigera and H. punctigera individuals heterozygous for Cry2Ab resistance in 2002 and 2004, respectively, allowed aspects of Cry2Ab resistance (level, fitness costs, genetic dominance, complementation tests) to be characterised in both species. However, the gene identity and genetic changes conferring this resistance were unknown, as was the detailed Cry2Ab mode of action. No cross-resistance to Cry1Ac was observed in mutant lines. Biphasic linkage analysis of a Cry2Ab-resistant H. armigera family followed by exon-primed intron-crossing (EPIC) marker mapping and candidate gene sequencing identified three independent resistance-associated INDEL mutations in an ATP-Binding Cassette (ABC) transporter gene we named HaABCA2. A deletion mutation was also identified in the H. punctigera homolog from the resistant line. All mutations truncate the ABCA2 protein. Isolation of further Cry2Ab resistance alleles in the same gene from field H. armigera populations indicates unequal resistance allele frequencies and the potential for Bt resistance evolution. Identification of the gene involved in resistance as an ABC transporter of the A subfamily adds to the body of evidence on the crucial role this gene family plays in the mode of action of the Bt Cry toxins. The structural differences between the ABCA2, and that of the C subfamily required for Cry1Ac toxicity, indicate differences in the detailed mode-of-action of the two Bt Cry toxins.
Project description:Development of insect resistance is one of the main concerns with the use of transgenic crops expressing Cry toxins from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis. Identification of biomarkers would assist in the development of sensitive DNA-based methods to monitor evolution of resistance to Bt toxins in natural populations. We report on the proteomic and genomic detection of reduced levels of midgut membrane-bound alkaline phosphatase (mALP) as a common feature in strains of Cry-resistant Heliothis virescens, Helicoverpa armigera and Spodoptera frugiperda when compared to susceptible larvae. Reduced levels of H. virescens mALP protein (HvmALP) were detected by two dimensional differential in-gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE) analysis in Cry-resistant compared to susceptible larvae, further supported by alkaline phosphatase activity assays and Western blotting. Through quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) we demonstrate that the reduction in HvmALP protein levels in resistant larvae are the result of reduced transcript amounts. Similar reductions in ALP activity and mALP transcript levels were also detected for a Cry1Ac-resistant strain of H. armigera and field-derived strains of S. frugiperda resistant to Cry1Fa. Considering the unique resistance and cross-resistance phenotypes of the insect strains used in this work, our data suggest that reduced mALP expression should be targeted for development of effective biomarkers for resistance to Cry toxins in lepidopteran pests.
Project description:Two strains of pink bollworm (Pectinophora gossypiella) selected in the laboratory for resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis toxin Cry1Ac had substantial cross-resistance to Cry1Aa and Cry1Ab but not to Cry1Bb, Cry1Ca, Cry1Da, Cry1Ea, Cry1Ja, Cry2Aa, Cry9Ca, H04, or H205. The narrow spectrum of resistance and the cross-resistance to activated toxin Cry1Ab suggest that reduced binding of toxin to midgut target sites could be an important mechanism of resistance.
Project description:Despite the intensive use of Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti) toxins for mosquito control, little is known about the long term effect of exposure to this cocktail of toxins on target mosquito populations. In contrast to the many cases of resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis Cry toxins observed in other insects, there is no evidence so far for Bti resistance evolution in field mosquito populations. High fitness costs measured in a Bti selected mosquito laboratory strain suggest that evolving resistance to Bti is costly. The aim of the present study was to identify transcription level and polymorphism variations associated with resistance to Bti toxins in the dengue vector Aedes aegypti. We used RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) for comparing a laboratory-selected strain showing elevated resistance to Bti toxins and its parental non-selected susceptible strain. As the resistant strain displayed two marked larval development phenotypes (slow and normal), each phenotype was analyzed separately in order to evidence potential links between resistance mechanisms and mosquito life-history traits.A total of 12,458 genes were detected of which 844 were differentially transcribed between the resistant and susceptible strains. Polymorphism analysis revealed a total of 68,541 SNPs of which 12,571 SNPs exhibited more than 40% frequency difference between the resistant and susceptible strains, affecting 2,953 genes. Bti resistance is associated with changes in the transcription level of enzymes involved in detoxification and chitin metabolism. Among previously described Bti-toxin receptors, four alkaline phosphatases (ALPs) were differentially transcribed between resistant and susceptible larvae, and non-synonymous changes affected the protein sequence of one cadherin, six aminopeptidases (APNs) and four ?-amylases. Other putative Cry receptors located in lipid rafts, such as flotillin and glycoside hydrolases, were under-transcribed and/or contained non-synonymous substitutions. Finally, immunity-related genes showed contrasted transcription and polymorphisms patterns between the two developmental resistant phenotypes, suggesting the existence of trade-offs between Bti-resistance, life-history traits and immunity.The present study is the first to analyze the whole transcriptome of Bti-resistant mosquitoes by RNA-seq, shedding light on the importance of studying both transcription levels and sequence polymorphism variations to get a comprehensive view of insecticide resistance.
Project description:Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is a natural pathogen of insects and some other groups of invertebrates that produces three-domain Cry (3d-Cry) toxins, which are highly host-specific pesticidal proteins. These proteins represent the most commonly used bioinsecticides in the world and are used for commercial purposes on the market of insecticides, being convergent with the paradigm of sustainable growth and ecological development. Emerging resistance to known toxins in pests stresses the need to expand the list of known toxins to broaden the horizons of insecticidal approaches. For this purpose, we have elaborated a fast and user-friendly tool called CryProcessor, which allows productive and precise mining of 3d-Cry toxins. The only existing tool for mining Cry toxins, called a BtToxin_scanner, has significant limitations such as limited query size, lack of accuracy and an outdated database. In order to find a proper solution to these problems, we have developed a robust pipeline, capable of precise 3d-Cry toxin mining. The unique feature of the pipeline is the ability to search for Cry toxins sequences directly on assembly graphs, providing an opportunity to analyze raw sequencing data and overcoming the problem of fragmented assemblies. Moreover, CryProcessor is able to predict precisely the domain layout in arbitrary sequences, allowing the retrieval of sequences of definite domains beyond the bounds of a limited number of toxins presented in CryGetter. Our algorithm has shown efficiency in all its work modes and outperformed its analogues on large amounts of data. Here, we describe its main features and provide information on its benchmarking against existing analogues. CryProcessor is a novel, fast, convenient, open source (https://github.com/lab7arriam/cry_processor), platform-independent, and precise instrument with a console version and elaborated web interface (https://lab7.arriam.ru/tools/cry_processor). Its major merits could make it possible to carry out massive screening for novel 3d-Cry toxins and obtain sequences of specific domains for further comprehensive in silico experiments in constructing artificial toxins.
Project description:Insecticidal Cry proteins produced by Bacillus thuringiensis are use worldwide in transgenic crops for efficient pest control. Among the family of Cry toxins, the three domain Cry family is the better characterized regarding their natural evolution leading to a large number of Cry proteins with similar structure, mode of action but different insect specificity. Also, this group is the better characterized regarding the study of their mode of action and the molecular basis of insect specificity. In this review we discuss how Cry toxins have evolved insect specificity in nature and analyse several cases of improvement of Cry toxin action by genetic engineering, some of these examples are currently used in transgenic crops. We believe that the success in the improvement of insecticidal activity by genetic evolution of Cry toxins will depend on the knowledge of the rate-limiting steps of Cry toxicity in different insect pests, the mapping of the specificity binding regions in the Cry toxins, as well as the improvement of mutagenesis strategies and selection procedures.