Characterization of chimeric Bacillus thuringiensis Vip3 toxins. Fang, J., Xu, X., Wang, P., Zhao, J., Shelton, A., M., Cheng, J., Feng, M., & Shen, Z. Applied and environmental microbiology, 73(3):956-61, 2, 2007.
Characterization of chimeric Bacillus thuringiensis Vip3 toxins. [pdf]Paper  abstract   bibtex   
Bacillus thuringiensis vegetative insecticidal proteins (Vip) are potential alternatives for B. thuringiensis endotoxins that are currently utilized in commercial transgenic insect-resistant crops. Screening a large number of B. thuringiensis isolates resulted in the cloning of vip3Ac1. Vip3Ac1 showed high insecticidal activity against the fall armyworm Spodoptera frugiperda and the cotton bollworm Helicoverpa zea but very low activity against the silkworm Bombyx mori. The host specificity of this Vip3 toxin was altered by sequence swapping with a previously identified toxin, Vip3Aa1. While both Vip3Aa1 and Vip3Ac1 showed no detectable toxicity against the European corn borer Ostrinia nubilalis, the chimeric protein Vip3AcAa, consisting of the N-terminal region of Vip3Ac1 and the C-terminal region of Vip3Aa1, became insecticidal to the European corn borer. In addition, the chimeric Vip3AcAa had increased toxicity to the fall armyworm. Furthermore, both Vip3Ac1 and Vip3AcAa are highly insecticidal to a strain of cabbage looper (Trichoplusia ni) that is highly resistant to the B. thuringiensis endotoxin Cry1Ac, thus experimentally showing for the first time the lack of cross-resistance between B. thuringiensis Cry1A proteins and Vip3A toxins. The results in this study demonstrated that vip3Ac1 and its chimeric vip3 genes can be excellent candidates for engineering a new generation of transgenic plants for insect pest control.

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