International Microbiology, Vol 15, No 4 (2012)

New combinations of cry genes from Bacillus thuringiensis strains isolated from northwestern Mexico

Gretel Mendoza, Amelia Portillo, Efraín Arias, Rosa M. Ribas, Jorge Olmos


Twenty eight Bacillus thuringiensis strains isolated from the Tijuana-Ensenada region of northwestern Mexico were analyzed to determine the distribution of cry and cyt genes. Crystal production by the strains was examined by scanning electron microscopy, which showed the predominance of cubic crystals. Alkaline-dissolved and trypsin activated crystals were also analyzed by SDS-PAGE, yielding bands of 40-200 kDa. The cry1 and cry2 genes were molecularly characterized using general and newly designed specifi c primers in addition to other oligonucleotides (cry3, cry4, cry8, cry9, cry11, Nem, cry25, cry29 and cyt), resulting in the identifi cation of novel gene combinations. The use of specifi c primers for cry1A, cry1B, cry1C, cry1D, cry1E, cry1F and cry2Aa, cry2Ab, cry2Ac, cry2Ad showed differences in the distribution of cry1 (36 %), cry2 (71 %), and cyt (40 %) in strains from Tijuana-Ensenada compared to other previously studied regions. Bioassays were conducted on Manduca sexta larvae to analyze the Cry insecticidal capacity of the isolated strains. The hemolytic activity of the Cyt toxinfrom the same strains was assessed in human erythrocytes. [Int Microbiol 2012; 15(4):209-216]

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