1887

Abstract

has been widely used for 40 years as a safe biopesticide for controlling agricultural pests and mosquitoes because it produces insecticidal crystal proteins. However, spores have also been shown to contribute to overall entomopathogenicity. Here, the opportunistic properties of acrystalliferous Cry and strains were investigated in an insect species, , and in a mammal, BALB/c mice. In both animal models, the pathogenicity of the two bacterial species was similar. Mutant strains were constructed in which the gene, encoding a pleiotropic regulator of extracellular factors, was disrupted. In larvae, co-ingestion of 10 spores of the parental strain with a sublethal concentration of Cry1C toxin caused 70% mortality whereas only 7% mortality was recorded if spores of the Δ mutant strain were used. In mice, nasal instillation of 10 spores of the parental strain caused 100% mortality whereas instillation with the same number of Δ strain spores caused much lower or no mortality Similar effects were obtained if vegetative cells were used instead of spores. The cause of death is unknown and is unlikely to be due to actual growth of the bacteria in mice. The lesions caused by supernatant in infected mice suggested that haemolytic toxins were involved. The cytolytic properties of strains of and , using sheep, horse and human erythrocytes and haemocytes, were therefore investigated. The level of cytolytic activity is highly reduced in Δ strains. Together, the results indicate that the pathogenicity of strain 407 and strain ATCC 14579 is controlled by PlcR.

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2000-11-01
2019-10-19
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