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Biotechnol Lett. 2007 Feb;29(2):247-51. Epub 2006 Dec 7.

Characterization of the highly variable cry gene regions of Bacillus thuringiensis strain ly4a3 by PCR-SSCP profiling and sequencing.

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Department of Bioengineering and Biotechnology, HuaQiao University, Key Laboratory of Industrial Biotechnology of Fujian Province Universities, Quanzhou, Fujian, China.


Characterization of cry gene contents can help to predict the insecticidal activities of Bacillus thuringiensis isolates and in the searching of new cry genes. PCR-Single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) profiling and sequencing of the highly variable cry gene regions were used to characterize cry gene content of B. thuringiensis strain ly4a3. The highly variable regions with about 1100 bp in sizes were amplified using a degenerate primer pair for cry genes, OL2(d) and OL5(r). A library of the PCR product was constructed, and all white colonies were subjected to PCR using another degenerate primer pair for cry genes, OL3(d) and OL5(r), with products about 250 bp in sizes. Two different profiles were observed based on SSCP profiling for the PCR products. The cry genes in the two corresponding colonies were sequenced and their deduced amino acids showed high identities to Cry1Ab (84.5% approximately 98.4%) and Cry1I (88.78% approximately 98.4%), respectively. This method allows the quick characterization of cry gene content of B. thuringiensis isolates and the detection of new cry genes.

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