Thuringiensin: a toxin from Bacillus thuringiensis
Shana Leticia Felice Wiest
Harry Luiz Pilz JÃºnior
Lidia Mariana Fiuza
LaboratÃ³rio de Microbiologia e Toxicologia, Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos â€“ UNISINOS, Av. Unisinos, 950, CEP 93001-970, SÃ£o Leopoldo, RS, Brazil
Bt Research, 2015, Vol. 6, No. 4 doi: 10.5376/bt.2015.06.0004
Received: 23 Jun., 2015 Accepted: 28 Jul., 2015 Published: 14 Aug., 2015
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Preferred citation for this article:
Wiest S.L.F., Pilz Júnior H.L. , and Fiuza L.M., 2015, Thuringiensin: a toxin from Bacillus thuringiensis, Bt Research, Vol.6, No.4 1-12 (doi: 10.5376/bt.2015.06.0004)
Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is an entomopathogenic bacteria widely used in practice for biological control of insect pests, nematodes and disease vectors. Your toxicity is related to the ability to produce many virulence factors, including thuringiensins (β-exotoxins). Most toxins produce by this microorganism are highly specific, therefore the use of it in biological control is considered environmentally safe and so this bacteria is extensively used in the production of biological insecticides and genetically modified plants. However, the thuringiensin is considered toxic to almost all life forms, including humans, due to its ability to inhibit the biosynthesis of RNA polymerase, an enzyme essential to the transfer of genetic information in almost all organisms. This way, the release of new strains of Bt with insecticidal properties for the biological control of pests must pass by verification of the absence of production of exotoxin, so that non-target organisms are not affected and the use of Bt in this field remains safe. Thus, this revision will discussed the knowledge about features, structure, genetic determinants, biosynthesis, mechanism of action, insecticide spectrum, security assessment and procedures for identification of thuringiensin in Bt strains.
Biological control; environmental security; ?-exotoxins; thermostable toxin