Specificity determinants for Cry insecticidal proteins: insights from their mode of action

Jurat-Fuentes, Juan Luis and Crickmore, Neil (2017) Specificity determinants for Cry insecticidal proteins: insights from their mode of action. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology, 142. pp. 5-10. ISSN 0022-2011

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Insecticidal proteins from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) are used as active components of biopesticides and as plant incorporated protectants in transgenic crops. One of the most relevant attributes of these Bt protein-based insecticidal technologies is their high specificity, which assures lack of detrimental effects on non-target insects, vertebrates and the environment. The identification of specificity determinants in Bt insecticidal proteins could guide risk assessment for novel insecticidal proteins currently considered for commercialization. In this work we review the available data on specificity determinants of crystal (Cry) insecticidal proteins as the Bt toxins most well characterized and used in transgenic crops. The multi step mode of action of the Cry insecticidal proteins allows various factors to potentially affect specificity determination and here we define seven levels that could influence specificity. The relative relevance of each of these determinants on efficacy of transgenic crops producing Cry insecticidal proteins is also discussed.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Bacillus thuringiensis, Cry toxin, Specificity, Mode of action, Bt crops
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Biochemistry
Subjects: Q Science > QR Microbiology
Q Science > QR Microbiology > QR0075 Bacteria
Depositing User: Neil Crickmore
Date Deposited: 01 Aug 2016 10:31
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2019 18:52
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/62163

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