1994 Volume 58 Issue 5 Pages 830-835
We cloned the cryIA(a) gene from Bacillus thuringiensis strain FU-2-7, one of the toxin genes encoding lepidopteran-specific protoxins. Sequence analysis of the gene showed two amino acid differences (Pro77 to Leu and Phe965 to Ser) from the CryIA(a) of B. thuringiensis strain HD-1. We constructed chimaeric cryIA(a) genes using FU-2-7 and HD-1 cryIA(a) genes and isolated the chimaeric protoxins, as well as the parental ones, from Escherichia coli cells harboring the recombinant plasmids to examine the effects of the two amino acid variations on the toxicity. FU-2-7 CryIA(a) protein was about half as toxic against the smaller tea tortrix, Adoxophyes sp., and one-third as toxic against the silkworm, Bombyx mori, as that of HD-1. On the other hand, a chimaeric CryIA(a) protein with a single replacement of Phe965 to Ser had nearly the same toxicity as the HD-1 CryIA(a) against the smaller tea tortrix and one-third the toxicity against silkworm as that of HD-1. This improved property of the chimaeric CryIA(a) protoxin may be useful for widening its application to crop protection in sericultural countries.
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