Nicholas R. Waterfield

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The Gram-negative bacterium Photorhabdus asymbiotica (Pa) has been recovered from human infections in both North America and Australia. Recently, Pa has been shown to have a nematode vector that can also infect insects, like its sister species the insect pathogen P. luminescens (Pl). To understand the relationship between pathogenicity to insects and humans(More)
Photorhabdus luminescens, a bacterium with alternate pathogenic and symbiotic phases of its lifestyle, represents a source of novel genes associated with both virulence and symbiosis. This entomopathogen lives in a "symbiosis of pathogens" with nematodes that invade insects. Thus the bacteria are symbiotic with entomopathogenic nematodes but become(More)
Photorhabdus is a member of the family Enterobacteriaceae that lives in a mutualistic association with a Heterorhabditis nematode worm. The nematode worm burrows into insect prey and regurgitates Photorhabdus, which goes on to kill the insect. The nematode feeds off the growing bacteria until the insect tissues are exhausted, whereupon they reassociate and(More)
The toxin complex (tc) genes of bacteria comprise a large and growing family whose mode of action remains obscure. In the insect pathogen Photorhabdus, tc genes encode high molecular weight insecticidal toxins with oral activity against caterpillar pests. One protein, TcdA, has recently been expressed in transgenic plants and shown to confer insect(More)
Two recently sequenced genomes of the insect-pathogenic bacterium Photorhabdus and a large Serratia entomophila plasmid, pADAP, have phage-related loci containing putative toxin effector genes, designated the "Photorhabdus virulence cassettes" (PVCs). In S. entomophila, the single plasmid PVC confers antifeeding activity on larvae of a beetle. Here, we show(More)
Most of the insecticidal toxins used in agriculture come from a single bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis or 'Bt'. Here we review our work on the array of toxins produced by Photorhabdus and Xenorhabdus bacteria that are symbiotic with entomopathogenic nematodes, and discuss their potential for use in agriculture as alternatives to Bt. Despite the fact that(More)
The Photorhabdus luminescens W14 toxin encoding gene makes caterpillars floppy (mcf) was discovered due to its ability to kill caterpillars when expressed in Escherichia coli. Here we describe a homologue of mcf (renamed as mcf1), termed mcf2, discovered in the same genome. The mcf2 gene predicts another large toxin whose central domain, like Mcf1, also(More)
The Western corn rootworm is the major pest of corn in the USA and has recently become the target for insect-resistant transgenic crops. Transgenic crops have switched the focus for identifying insecticide targets from the insect nervous system to the midgut. Here we describe a collection of 691 sequences from the Western corn rootworm midgut, 27% of which(More)
Genomic islands are responsible for unique aspects of bacterial behavior such as symbiosis and pathogenicity. Photorhabdus luminescens is a pathogen of insects that spends part of its lifecycle in symbiosis with a nematode. Here, we describe novel genomic islands from Photorhabdus that are involved in symbiosis and pathogenicity, and discuss the(More)
The toxin complex (tc) genes of Photorhabdus encode insecticidal, high molecular weight Tc toxins. These toxins have been suggested as useful alternatives to those derived from Bacillus thuringiensis for expression in insect-resistant transgenic plants. Although Photorhabdus luminescens is symbiotic with nematodes that kill insects, tc genes have recently(More)