Synthetic fusion-protein containing domains of Bt Cry1Ac and Allium sativum lectin (ASAL) conferred enhanced insecticidal activity against major lepidopteran pests
•A novel fusion-protein was developed employing Cry1Ac and garlic lectin domains.•Fusion-protein expressed in E. coli was purified and tested against target insects.•The fusion-protein was bound to more number of BBMV receptor proteins of the insect.•Garlic lectin domain is responsible for the increased toxicity of fusion-protein.
Different transgenic crop plants, developed with δ-endotoxins of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) and mannose-specific plant lectins, exhibited significant protection against chewing and sucking insects. In the present study, a synthetic gene (cry-asal) encoding the fusion-protein having 488 amino acids, comprising DI and DII domains from Bt Cry1Ac and Allium sativum agglutinin (ASAL), was cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli. Ligand blot analysis disclosed that the fusion-protein could bind to more number of receptors of brush border membrane vesicle (BBMV) proteins of Helicoverpa armigera. Artificial diet bioassays revealed that 0.025 μg/g and 0.50 μg/g of fusion-protein were sufficient to cause 100% mortality in Pectinophora gossypiella and H. armigera insects, respectively. As compared to Cry1Ac, the fusion-protein showed enhanced (8-fold and 30-fold) insecticidal activity against two major lepidopteran pests. Binding of fusion-protein to the additional receptors in the midgut cells of insects is attributable to its enhanced entomotoxic effect. The synthetic gene, first of its kind, appears promising and might serve as a potential candidate for engineering crop plants against major insect pests.
Journal: Journal of Biotechnology - Volume 171, 10 February 2014, Pages 71–75