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Curr Microbiol. 1996 Jul;33(1):54-9.

Contribution of Bacillus thuringiensis Spores to Toxicity of Purified Cry Proteins Towards Indianmeal Moth Larvae

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U.S. Grain Marketing Research Laboratory, USDA-ARS, 1515 College Avenue, Manhattan, KS 66502, USA


The influence of Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki HD-1 spores upon the toxicity of purified Cry1Ab and Cry1C crystal proteins toward susceptible and BT-resistant Indianmeal moth (IMM, Plodia interpunctella) larvae was investigated. With susceptible larvae, HD-1 spores were toxic in the absence of crystal protein and highly synergistic (approximately 35- to 50-fold) with either Cry1Ab or Cry1C protein. With BT-resistant IMM larvae, HD-1 spores were synergistic with Cry1Ab and Cry1C protein in all three resistant strains examined. Synergism was highest (approximately 25- to 44-fold) in insects with primary resistance toward Cry1C (IMM larvae with resistance to B. thuringiensis subsp. aizawai or entomocidus). However, HD-1 spores also synergized either Cry1Ab or Cry1C toxicity toward larvae resistant to B. thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki at a lower level (approximately five- to sixfold). With susceptible larvae, the presence of spores reduced the time of death when combined with each of the purified Cry proteins. Without spores, the speed of intoxication and eventual death for larvae treated with Cry1C and Cry1Ab proteins was much slower than for the HD-1 preparation containing both spores and crystals together. Neither spores nor toxin dose affected the mean time of death of resistant larvae treated with either Cry1Ab or Cry1C toxins. Both Cry1Ab and Cry1C toxins appeared to reduce feeding and consequently toxin consumption.


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