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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2003 Sep 12;226(1):73-7.

Bacillus thuringiensis serovar israelensis is highly toxic to the coffee berry borer, Hypothenemus hampei Ferr. (Coleoptera: Scolytidae).

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Campo Experimental Rosario Izapa, Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Forestales Agri;colas y Pecuarias, Chris., Rosario Izapa, Mexico.


A native collection of Bacillus thuringiensis strains was screened, once a reliable bioassay technique to assess the toxicity against the coffee berry borer (CBB) first-instar larvae was developed. A first round of bioassays with 170 strains indicated that the great majority of them showed no or very little insecticidal activity and that very few showed significant levels of toxicity. Interestingly, only those strains that had previously been associated with mosquitocidal activity were also toxic to CBB. Qualitative bioassays (using one high dose) were carried out only with those native mosquitocidal strains, corroborating their significant toxicity towards the CBB first-instar larvae. Most of these strains belong to serovar israelensis. In a second approach, strains from the Institut Pasteur type collection, whose mosquitocidal activity had been previously demonstrated, were also subjected to bioassays. Only those strains that showed a comparable protein content in their parasporal crystals to the israelensis type strain also showed high levels of toxicity towards CBB. Finally, an accurate LC(50) was estimated, using purified parasporal crystals from B. thuringiensis serovar israelensis type strain, at 219.5 ng cm(-2) of diet. All the statistical requirements for a reliable estimator were fulfilled. This is the first report of B. thuringiensis serovar israelensis being active against a coleopteran species.

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