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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1994 Feb;60(2):501-8.

Integrative Cloning, Expression, and Stability of the cryIA(c) Gene from Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki in a Recombinant Strain of Clavibacter xyli subsp. cynodontis.

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Department of Molecular Genetics, Crop Genetics International, 10150 Old Columbia Road, Columbia, Maryland 21046.


A bacterial endophyte was engineered for insecticidal activity against the European corn borer. The cryIA(c) gene from Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki was introduced into the chromosome of Clavibacter xyli subsp. cynodontis by using an integrative plasmid vector. The integration vectors pCG740 and pCG741 included the replicon pGEM5Zf(+), which is maintained in Escherichia coli but not in C. xyli subsp. cynodontis; tetM as a marker for selection in C. xyli subsp. cynodontis; and a chromosomal fragment of C. xyli subsp. cynodontis to allow for homologous recombination between the vector and the bacterial chromosome. Insertion of vector DNA into the chromosome was demonstrated by DNA hybridization. Recombinant strains MDR1.583 and MDR1.586 containing the cryIA(c) gene were shown to produce the 133,000-kDa protoxin and several smaller immunoreactive proteins. Both strains were equally toxic to insect larvae in bioassays. Significant insecticidal activity was demonstrated in planta. The cryIA(c) gene and the tetM gene introduced into strain MDR1.586 were shown to be deleted from some cells, thereby giving rise to a noninsecticidal segregant population. In DNA hybridization experiments and insect bioassays, these segregants were indistinguishable from the wild-type strain. Overall, these results demonstrate the plausibility of genetically engineered bacterial endophytes for insect control.


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