AiM  Vol.3 No.5 , September 2013
An Overview on the Crystal Toxins from Bacillus thuringiensis

Strains of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) are known to produce crystalline proteins (δ-endotoxins) concomitantly with sporulation during their stationary phase of growth, which are demonstrated as lethal to lepidopeterous, coleopeterous and dipterous insects in addition to mites, nematodes, protozoa and flukes. Upon ingestion, the δ-nascent endotoxin is an inactive protoxin complex of (Cry alone or Cry and Cyt toxins together) high molecular mass, which is cleaved upon ingestion into the active component proteins at the high alkaline environments in the digestive tract of these agricultural pests. Conventionally, Bt-crystals are being produced employing submerged or liquid fermentation techniques in commercial media, but recently many workers have used solid-state fermentation strategy for the enhanced production of Bt-toxin at low cost. Apart from δ-endotoxin, some isolates of Bt produce another class of insecticidal small molecules called β-exotoxin (thuringiensin), which may be harmful to humans. Moreover, resistance to Bt developed in various target pest is yet another concern for Bt-industry. Following a brief introduction, this review addresses various toxins produced by various strains of Bt, Bt production media and media formulations with emphasis to solid-state fermentation, general structure of Cry toxin, its mode of action, target pests, bioassay, resistance to Bt toxins and resistance management. Briefly, this review would provide the readers an overview on the general aspects of Bt toxin, its general structure and mechanism of action.

Cite this paper
V. Jisha, R. Smitha and S. Benjamin, "An Overview on the Crystal Toxins from Bacillus thuringiensis," Advances in Microbiology, Vol. 3 No. 5, 2013, pp. 462-472. doi: 10.4236/aim.2013.35062.
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