Synergistic activity of a Bacillus thuringiensis δ-endotoxin and a bacterial endochitinase against Spodoptera littoralis larvae

Avital Regev, Menachem Keller, Nicolai Strizhov, Baruch Sneh, Evgenya Prudovsky, Ilan Chet, Idit Ginzberg, Zsuzsanna Koncz-Kalman, Csaba Koncz, Jeff Schell, Aviah Zilberstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In an attempt to increase the insecticidal effect of the δ-endotoxin crystal protein CryIC on the relatively Cry-insensitive larvae of Spodoptera littoralis, a combination of CryIC and endochitinase was used. CryIC comprising the first 756 amino acids from Bacillus thuringiensis K26-21 and endochitinase ChiAII encoded by Serratia marcescens were separately produced in Escherichia coli carrying the genes in overexpression vectors. The endochitinase on its own, even at very low concentrations (0.1 μg/ml), perforated the larval midgut peritrophic membrane. When applied together with low concentrations of CryIC, a synergistic toxic effect was obtained. In the absence of chitinase, about 20 μg of CryIC per ml was required to obtain maximal reduction in larval weight, while only 3.0 μg of CryIC per ml caused a similar toxic effect in the presence of endochitinase. Thus, a combination of the Cry protein and an endochitinase could result in effective insect control in transgenic systems in which the Cry protein is not expressed in a crystalline form.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3581-3586
Number of pages6
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Volume62
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1996

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