Insecticidal activity and biodegradation of the toxin from Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki bound to humic acids from soil. Crecchio, C. & Stotzky, G. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 30(4):463, 1998.
abstract   bibtex   
The equilibrium adsorption and binding of the active toxin from Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki, toxic to lepidopteran larvae, to humic acids extracted from two forest and two cultivated soils, as well as the insecticidal activity and the biodegradation of the bound toxin, were studied. From 75 to 85% of the toxin added was rapidly adsorbed to the humic acids at equilibrium, and adsorption to a constant amount of humic acids increased with the concentration of the toxin until a plateau was reached. Differences in total acidity and in the content of phenolic groups of the humic acids appeared to be primarily responsible for differences in the amounts of toxin bound (45-80% of the adsorbed toxin) after extensive washing with distilled water. The content of carboxyl groups and the degree of polymerization (Image) did not appear to influence significantly the differential binding. Bound humic acid-toxin complexes were toxic to larvae of the tobacco hornworm (Manduca sexta). The lethal concentration necessary to kill 50% of the larvae (LC50) of the bound toxin was comparable with that of the free toxin, indicating that the binding of the toxin to humic acids did not affect its insecticidal activity. The bound toxin did not support the growth of a mixed microbial culture from soil, although the free toxin was rapidly utilized as a carbon and energy source for growth, indicating that binding of the toxin to humic acids reduced its biodegradability. The result of these studies indicate that the toxins from B. thuringiensis introduced in transgenic plants and microbes could persist, accumulate, and remain insecticidal in soil as a result of binding to humic acids, as well as on clays, as previously described. This persistence could pose a hazard to non-target organisms and enhance the selection of toxin-resistant target species.
@article{
 title = {Insecticidal activity and biodegradation of the toxin from Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki bound to humic acids from soil},
 type = {article},
 year = {1998},
 keywords = {soil},
 pages = {463},
 volume = {30},
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 abstract = {The equilibrium adsorption and binding of the active toxin from Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki, toxic to lepidopteran larvae, to humic acids extracted from two forest and two cultivated soils, as well as the insecticidal activity and the biodegradation of the bound toxin, were studied. From 75 to 85% of the toxin added was rapidly adsorbed to the humic acids at equilibrium, and adsorption to a constant amount of humic acids increased with the concentration of the toxin until a plateau was reached. Differences in total acidity and in the content of phenolic groups of the humic acids appeared to be primarily responsible for differences in the amounts of toxin bound (45-80% of the adsorbed toxin) after extensive washing with distilled water. The content of carboxyl groups and the degree of polymerization (Image) did not appear to influence significantly the differential binding. Bound humic acid-toxin complexes were toxic to larvae of the tobacco hornworm (Manduca sexta). The lethal concentration necessary to kill 50% of the larvae (LC50) of the bound toxin was comparable with that of the free toxin, indicating that the binding of the toxin to humic acids did not affect its insecticidal activity. The bound toxin did not support the growth of a mixed microbial culture from soil, although the free toxin was rapidly utilized as a carbon and energy source for growth, indicating that binding of the toxin to humic acids reduced its biodegradability. The result of these studies indicate that the toxins from B. thuringiensis introduced in transgenic plants and microbes could persist, accumulate, and remain insecticidal in soil as a result of binding to humic acids, as well as on clays, as previously described. This persistence could pose a hazard to non-target organisms and enhance the selection of toxin-resistant target species.},
 bibtype = {article},
 author = {Crecchio, C and Stotzky, G},
 journal = {Soil Biology and Biochemistry},
 number = {4}
}
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