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Roles of insect midgut cadherin in Bt intoxication and resistance

Jeffrey A Fabrick, YiDong Wu
Bt resistance: characterization and strategies for GM crops producing Bacillus thuringiensis toxins 2015 ch.7 pp. 69-86
Bacillus thuringiensis, bacterial toxins, binding capacity, cadherins, crops, crystal proteins, evolution, genes, insect control, insect pests, insect proteins, insecticidal proteins, insecticide resistance, insecticides, larvae, midgut, mutation, plant-incorporated protectants, poisoning, resistance management, resistance mechanisms, risk reduction, transgenic plants
Genetically engineered crops producing Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) proteins for insect control target major insect pests. Bt crops have improved yields and their use reduces the risks associated with the application of conventional insecticides. However, the evolution of resistance to Bt toxins by target pests threatens the long-term success of such transgenic crops. Insects resistant to Bt Cry toxins have been selected in the laboratory and field-evolved resistance has been reported for economically important insects in several regions of the world. Although the mechanisms of resistance have not been reported for all cases, the most common mechanism involves changes in larval midgut target sites that probably reduce binding to Bt toxins. The binding of Cry toxins to midgut cadherin represents an important step in Bt intoxication for many insects and mutations in the cadherin gene can result in resistance to Bt toxins. Here, we highlight the roles that insect midgut cadherins play in Bt Cry intoxication and review cases where changes in cadherin are involved with resistance to Cry toxins. Furthermore, we emphasize the importance of understanding the underlying molecular basis of Bt intoxication and resistance to Bt, and the implications of fundamental knowledge for resistance management strategies.