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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1995 Dec;61(12):4343-7.

Isolation of Multiple Subspecies of Bacillus thuringiensis from a Population of the European Sunflower Moth, Homoeosoma nebulella.


Five subspecies of Bacillus thuringiensis were isolated from dead and diseased larvae obtained from a laboratory colony of the European sunflower moth, Homoeosoma nebulella. The subspecies isolated were B. thuringiensis subspp. thuringiensis (H 1a), kurstaki (H 3a3b3c), aizawai (H 7), morrisoni (H 8a8b), and thompsoni (H 12). Most isolates produced typical bipyramidal crystals, but the B. thuringiensis subsp. thuringiensis isolate produced spherical crystals and the B. thuringiensis subsp. thompsoni isolate produced a pyramidal crystal. Analysis of the parasporal crystals by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis showed that the crystals from the B. thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki and aizawai isolates contained a protein of 138 kDa whereas those from B. thuringiensis subsp. morrisoni contained a protein of 145 kDa. The crystals from B. thuringiensis subsp. thuringiensis contained proteins of 125, 128, and 138 kDa, whereas those from B. thuringiensis subsp. thompsoni were the most unusual, containing proteins of 37 and 42 kDa. Bioassays of purified crystals conducted against second-instar larvae of H. nebulella showed that the isolates of B. thuringiensis subspp. aizawai, kurstaki, and thuringiensis were the most toxic, with 50% lethal concentrations (LC(inf50)s) of 0.15, 0.17, and 0.26 (mu)g/ml, respectively. The isolates of B. thuringiensis subspp. morrisoni and thompsoni had LC(inf50)s of 2.62 and 37.5 (mu)g/ml, respectively. These results show that a single insect species can simultaneously host and be affected by a variety of subspecies of B. thuringiensis producing different insecticidal proteins.


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