Bacterial Insecticidal Toxins

  title={Bacterial Insecticidal Toxins},
  author={Abanti Chattopadhyay and Nirupama Banerjee Bhatnagar and Rakesh Bhatnagar},
  journal={Critical Reviews in Microbiology},
  pages={33 - 54}
Over the years it has been important for humans to control the populations of harmful insects and insecticides have been used for this purpose in agricultural and horticultural sectors. Synthetic insecticides, owing to their various side effects, have been widely replaced by biological insecticides. In this review we attempt to describe three bacterial species that are known to produce insecticidal toxins of tremendous biotechnological, agricultural, and economic importance. Bacillus… 

Response Mechanisms of Invertebrates to Bacillus thuringiensis and Its Pesticidal Proteins

Here, the relevant literature reporting how invertebrates respond to exposure to B. thuringiensis as either whole bacteria, spores, and/or its pesticidal proteins is reviewed.

Inclusion Proteins fromother Insecticidal Bacteria

The characteristics of the protein inclusions produced by these entomopathogenic bacteria are described and two nematode-symbiotic bacteria, Photorhabdus luminescens and XenorhabDus nematophilus produce large amounts of crystalline proteins that are not toxic to insects.

The great potential of entomopathogenic bacteria Xenorhabdus and Photorhabdus for mosquito control: a review

These biological agents can be used in new control methods, and must be, urgently considered in short term, in studies and applications, especially in mosquito control.

Potential of Biopesticides in Sustainable Agriculture

Biopesticides can make important contribution to sustainable agriculture and help reduce reliance on chemical pesticides.

Molecular Approaches to Improve the Insecticidal Activity of Bacillus thuringiensis Cry Toxins

The use of DNA shuffling to improve two Bt toxins will be discussed together with in silico analyses of the generated mutations to evaluate their potential effect on protein structure and cytotoxicity.

Synergism between entomopathogenic nematodes and Bacillus thuringiensis crops: integrating biological control and resistance management

The results point to the value of developing integrated pest management strategies for Bt crops that include non-Bt refuges in which entomopathogenic nematodes are used as a pest-management agent.

Mode of Action and Specificity of Bacillus thuringiensis Toxins in the Control of Caterpillars and Stink Bugs in Soybean Culture

The bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) produces delta-endotoxins that possess toxic properties and can be used as biopesticides, as well as a source of genes for the construction of transgenic

New trends in pest control: the search for greener insecticides

A short overview of some of the recent advances in the chemistry of insecticides is presented, with a highlight of their greenness compared with classical insecticides.


Biotechnology in crop protection is not restricted to production of transgenic crops, and has been extended to include the modification of baculoviruses for increased efficacy as biopesticides, and arthropod natural enemies to enhance their capacity to control insect pests.

Effects of Four Nematode Species on Fitness Costs of Pink Bollworm Resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis Toxin CrylAc

It is concluded that entomopathogenic nematodes could bolster insect resistance management, but the success of this approach will depend on selecting the appropriate species of nematode and environment, as fitness costs were magnified by only two of five species evaluated and also depended on environmental factors.



Seeking the root of insect resistance to transgenic plants.

  • B. Tabashnik
  • Biology, Medicine
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 1997
Because Bt is not toxic to arthropod natural enemies, opportunities for biological control are enhanced and the secondary pest outbreaks often caused by conventional insecticides are avoided.

Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxin susceptibility and isolation of resistance mutants in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

It is demonstrated for the first time that a single Bt toxin can target a nematode, and data indicate that C. elegans can be used to undertake detailed molecular genetic analysis of BT toxin pathways and that Bt toxins hold promise as nematicides.

Managing Insect Resistance to Plants Producing Bacillus thuringiensis Toxins

The bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis is currently the source of insecticidal proteins in commercial insect-resistant transgenic plants and will remain the most important source during the next decade.

Evolution of Resistance to Bacillus Thuringiensis

Scientists in industry, government, and academia now recognize evolution of resistance to Bt in pests as the greatest threat to the continued success of Bt.

The insecticidal CryIB crystal protein of Bacillus thuringiensis ssp. thuringiensis has dual specificity to coleopteran and lepidopteran larvae.

The results of insect toxicity experiments with a series of deletion mutants allowed definition of a CryIB protein fragment of ca.

Initial frequency of alleles for resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis toxins in field populations of Heliothis virescens.

A single-pair mating technique greatly increases the efficiency of detecting recessive resistance alleles and could be useful in estimating resistance allele frequencies in other insects exposed to transgenic insecticidal crops or conventional insecticides.

The safety of Bacillus species as insect vector control agents

One of the success stories of international co-operation in the control of infectious diseases has been the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Onchocerciasis Control Programme (OCP) in West Africa;

Insecticidal toxins from the bacterium Photorhabdus luminescens.

This work investigated a toxin secreted by a different bacterium Photorhabdus luminescens, which lives in the gut of entomophagous nematodes, which represents potential alternatives to Bt for transgenic deployment for insect control.

Sequence Analysis of Insecticidal Genes fromXenorhabdus nematophilus PMFI296

Three strains of Xenorhabdus nematophilus showed insecticidal activity when fed to Pieris brassicae (cabbage white butterfly) larvae, and a cosmid genome library was prepared and two overlapping cosmid clones were shown to encode insecticidal proteins, which had activity when expressed in E. coli.