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Mol Microbiol. 1995 Oct;18(1):1-12.

Regulation of insecticidal crystal protein production in Bacillus thuringiensis.

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Ecogen Inc., Langhorne, Pennsylvania 19047-3023, USA.


The production of insecticidal crystal proteins (ICPs) in Bacillus thuringiensis normally coincides with sporulation, resulting in the appearance of parasporal crystalline inclusions within the mother cell. In most instances, the temporal and spatial regulation of ICP gene expression is determined at the transcriptional level by mother-cell-specific sigma factors that share homology with sigma E and sigma K from Bacillus subtilis. The cryIII ICP genes are a notable exception; these genes are transcribed from sigma A-like promoters during vegetative growth, are induced or derepressed at the onset of stationary phase, and are overexpressed in sporulation mutants of B. thuringiensis blocked in the phosphorylation of Spo0A, a key regulator of sporulation initiation. Transcription alone, however, cannot account for the impressive ability of this bacterium to accumulate insecticidal proteins. A variety of post-transcriptional and post-translational mechanisms also contribute to the efficient production of ICPs in B. thuringiensis, thus making this bacterium a cost-effective biological control agent.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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