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Immobilization of Alginate-Encapsulated Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis Containing Different Multivalent Counterions for Mosquito Control

Prabakaran, G., Hoti, S. L.
Current microbiology 2008 v.57 no.2 pp. 111-114
Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis, Culex quinquefasciatus, calcium alginate, calcium chloride, cobalt, copper sulfate, habitats, instars, ions, larvae, mosquito control, pH, potassium phosphates, sodium, spores, temperature, ultraviolet radiation, zinc, zinc sulfate
Immobilized techniques have been used widely for the controlled release formulation of mosquitoes. Among the microbial formulations, polymeric matrices play an important role in the controlled release of microbial pesticide at rates sufficiently effective to kill mosquitoes in the field. The advantage of these matrices is that they enhance the stability of both spores and toxin against pH, temperature variations, and UV irradiation. The disadvantage of using calcium alginate beads is that they are unstable upon contact with phosphate of potassium or sodium ions rich in the mosquito habitats. To overcome these problems, attempts were made to encapsulate Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis within alginate by using different multivalent counterions, namely, calcium chloride, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, cobalt chloride, and ferric chloride, and the beads formed were tested for its mosquito larvicidal activity. Among all the beads tested, zinc alginate beads resulted in maximum larvicidal activity of 98% (±1.40 SE) against Culex quinquefasciatus IIIrd instar larvae and maximum spore count of 3.36 x 10⁵ (±5291.50 SE) CFU/ml. Zinc alginate beads maintained their structure for up to 48 h when shaken vigorously on a rotary shaker at 180 rpm in the presence of 10 mM potassium phosphate buffer (pH 6.8 ± 0.1). In conclusion, our results suggest that the use of zinc sulfate as counterions to encapsulate B. thuringiensis var. israelensis within alginate may be a potent mosquito control program in the habitats where more phosphate ions are present.