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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1996 May 28;93(11):5389-94.

Vip3A, a novel Bacillus thuringiensis vegetative insecticidal protein with a wide spectrum of activities against lepidopteran insects.

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  • 1Insect Control-Seeds, Ciba Agricultural Biotechnology, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA.


A novel vegetative insecticidal gene, vip3A(a), whose gene product shows activity against lepidopteran insect larvae including black cutworm (Agrotis ipsilon), fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda), beet armyworm (Spodoptera exigua), tobacco budworm (Heliothis virescens), and corn earworm (Helicoverpa zea) has been isolated from Bacillus thuringiensis strain AB88. VIP3-insecticidal gene homologues have been detected in approximately 15% of Bacillus strains analyzed. The sequence of the vip3A(b) gene, a homologue of vip3A(a) isolated from B. thuringiensis strain AB424 is also reported. Vip3A(a) and (b) proteins confer upon Escherichia coli insecticidal activity against the lepidopteran insect larvae mentioned above. The sequence of the gene predicts a 791-amino acid (88.5 kDa) protein that contains no homology with known proteins. Vip3A insecticidal proteins are secreted without N-terminal processing. Unlike the B. thuringiensis 5-endotoxins, whose expression is restricted to sporulation, Vip3A insecticidal proteins are expressed in the vegetative stage of growth starting at mid-log phase as well as during sporulation. Vip3A represents a novel class of proteins insecticidal to lepidopteran insect larvae.

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