Resistance to the Bacillus thuringiensis bioinsecticide in a field population of Plutella xylostella is due to a change in a midgut membrane receptor

  • Ferré J
  • Real M
  • Van Rie J
 et al. 
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The biochemical mechanism for resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis crystal proteins was studied in a field population of diamondback moths (Plutella xylostella) with a reduced susceptibility to the bioinsecticidal spray. The toxicity and binding characteristics of three crystal proteins [CryIA(b), CryIB, and CryIC] were compared between the field population and a laboratory strain. The field population proved resistant (greater than 200-fold compared with the laboratory strain) to CryIA(b), one of the crystal proteins in the insecticidal formulation. Binding studies showed that the two strains differ in a membrane receptor that recognizes CryIA(b). This crystal protein did not bind to the brush-border membrane of the midgut epithelial cells of the field population, either because of strongly reduced binding affinity or because of the complete absence of the receptor molecule. Both strains proved fully susceptible to the CryIB and CryIC crystal proteins, which were not present in the B. thuringiensis formulation used in the field. Characteristics of CryIB and CryIC binding to brush-border membranes of midgut epithelial cells were virtually identical in the laboratory and the field population.

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  • J Ferré

  • M D Real

  • J Van Rie

  • S Jansens

  • M Peferoen

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