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Int J Mol Sci. 2013 Jun 6;14(6):12138-56. doi: 10.3390/ijms140612138.

Combining hexanoic acid plant priming with Bacillus thuringiensis insecticidal activity against Colorado potato beetle.

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Department of Genetics, University of Valencia, Dr. Moliner 50, Burjassot 46100, Valencia, Spain.


Interaction between insect herbivores and host plants can be modulated by endogenous and exogenous compounds present in the source of food and might be successfully exploited in Colorado potato beetle (CPB) pest management. Feeding tests with CPB larvae reared on three solanaceous plants (potato, eggplant and tomato) resulted in variable larval growth rates and differential susceptibility to Bacillus thuringiensis Cry3Aa toxin as a function of the host plant. An inverse correlation with toxicity was observed in Cry3Aa proteolytic patterns generated by CPB midgut brush-border membrane vesicles (BBMV) from Solanaceae-fed larvae, being the toxin most extensively proteolyzed on potato, followed by eggplant and tomato. We found that CPB cysteine proteases intestains may interact with Cry3Aa toxin and, in CPB BBMV from larvae fed all three Solanaceae, the toxin was able to compete for the hydrolysis of a papain substrate. In response to treatment with the JA-dependent plant inducer Hexanoic acid (Hx), we showed that eggplant reduced OPDA basal levels and both, potato and eggplant induced JA-Ile. CPB larvae feeding on Hx-induced plants exhibited enhanced Cry3Aa toxicity, which correlated with altered papain activity. Results indicated host-mediated effects on B. thuringiensis efficacy against CPB that can be enhanced in combination with Hx plant induction.

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