Author(s): Poncet S, Bernard C, Dervyn E, Cayley J, Klier A,
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Abstract Integrative plasmids were constructed to enable integration of foreign DNA into the chromosome of Bacillus sphaericus 2297 by in vivo recombination. Integration of the aphA3 kanamycin resistance gene by a two-step procedure demonstrated that this strategy was applicable with antibiotic resistance selection. Hybridization experiments evidenced two copies of the operon encoding the binary toxin from B. sphaericus in the recipient strain. The Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis cry11Aal gene (referred to as cry11A), encoding a delta-endotoxin with toxicity against Culex, Aedes, and Anopheles larvae, was integrated either by a single crossover event [strain 2297 (::pHT5601), harboring the entire recombinant plasmid] or by two successive crossover events [strain 2297 (::cry11A)]. The level of the Cry11A production in B. sphaericus was high; two crystalline inclusions were produced in strain 2297 (::pHT5601). Synthesis of the Cry11A toxin conferred toxicity to the recombinant strains against Aedes aegypti larvae, for which the parental strain was not toxic. Interestingly, the level of larvicidal activity of strain 2297 (::pHT5601) against Anopheles stephensi was as high as that of B. thuringiensis subsp. israelensis and suggested synergy between the B. thuringiensis and B. sphaericus toxins. The toxicities of parental and recombinant B. sphaericus strains against Culex quinquefasciatus were similar, but the recombinant strains killed the larvae more rapidly. The production of the Cry11A toxin in B. sphaericus also partially restored toxicity for C. quinquefasciatus larvae from a population resistant to B. sphaericus 1593. In vivo recombination therefore appears to be a promising approach to the creation of new B. sphaericus strains for vector control.
This article was published in Appl Environ Microbiol
and referenced in Journal of Fertilizers & Pesticides