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J Biotechnol. 1995 Apr 15;39(2):99-106.

Polymerase chain reaction and non-radioactive gene probe based identification of mosquito larvicidal strains of Bacillus sphaericus and monitoring of B. sphaericus 1593M, released in the environment.

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Center for Biotechnology, Anna University Madras, India.


In attempts towards an accurate monitoring in the environment, the status of the deliberate release of Bacillus sphaericus, a powerful mosquito larvicidal agent, as well as to evolve a rapid method of screening for potent isolates of B. sphaericus, we have developed a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method of analysis. Using specific primers spanning the 5' and 3' ends of the coding sequences of these two mosquito larvicidal genes, a 1.3 and a 1.1 kb product from gene A and a 2.6 kb product from gene B have been amplified by PCR. The primers and the products amplified from them in PCR are highly specific for B. sphaericus. We used digoxigenin based non-radioactive chemiluminescence method for the detection of PCR products and the sensitivity of the method was high enough to detect the presence of 1 to 5 cells of B. sphaericus. A simple and inexpensive sample processing procedure has also been developed for direct PCR amplification of B. sphaericus DNA from field samples collected from areas where it had been applied. Several highly toxic to non-toxic strains of B. sphaericus were screened with these primers by PCR for the presence of either or both of these toxin genes. The results indicate that there is a good correlation between the presence of both genes with higher toxicity of the strains.

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