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Cadherin is involved in the action of Bacillus thuringiensis toxins Cry1Ac and Cry2Aa in the beet armyworm, Spodoptera exigua

Lin Qiu, Leilei Hou, Boyao Zhang, Lang Liu, Bo Li, Pan Deng, Weihua Ma, Xiaoping Wang, Jeffrey A. Fabrick, Lizhen Chen, Chaoliang Lei
Journal of invertebrate pathology 2015 v.127 pp. 47-53
Bacillus thuringiensis, Gossypium hirsutum, RNA interference, Spodoptera exigua, cadherins, cotton, crystal proteins, insect pests, insecticidal proteins, larvae, midgut, migratory behavior, protein binding, receptors, resistance management, toxins, transcription (genetics), transgenic plants, vegetable crops, China
Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) insecticidal crystal (Cry) proteins are effective against some insect pests in sprays and transgenic crops, although the evolution of resistance could threaten the long-term efficacy of such Bt use. One strategy to delay resistance to Bt crops is to “pyramid” two or more Bt proteins that bind to distinct receptor proteins within the insect midgut. The most common Bt pyramid in cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) employs Cry1Ac with Cry2Ab to target several key lepidopteran pests, including the beet armyworm, Spodoptera exigua (Hübner), which is a serious migratory pest of many vegetable crops and is increasingly important in cotton in China. While cadherin and aminopeptidase-N are key receptors of Cry1 toxins in many lepidopterans including S. exigua, the receptor for Cry2A toxins remains poorly characterized. Here, we show that a heterologous expressed peptide corresponding to cadherin repeat 7 to the membrane proximal extracellular domain (CR7-MPED) in the S. exigua cadherin 1b (SeCad1b) binds Cry1Ac and Cry2Aa. Moreover, SeCad1b transcription was suppressed in S. exigua larvae by oral RNA interference and susceptibility to Cry1Ac and Cry2Aa was significantly reduced. These results indicate that SeCad1b plays important functional roles of both Cry1Ac and Cry2Aa, having major implications for resistance management for S. exigua in Bt crops.