Tracking the source of Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ab endotoxin in the environment

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.bse.2004.08.001
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TypeArticle
Journal titleBiochemical Systematics and Ecology
Volume33
Issue3
Pages219232; # of pages: 14
Subjectenv; Bacillus thuringiensis; Genetically-modified corn; Cry1Ab endotoxin
AbstractThe application of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) and the growing of genetically-modified crops are currently practised to control infestations of crop-eating insects. The increasing use of these biopesticides could lead to an increase in Cry1Ab endotoxin in both terrestrial and aquatic environments. The aim of this study was to quantify levels of Cry1Ab endotoxin and locate its source in the environment. Agricultural soils and surface waters were spiked with crystals (biopesticide-Dipel�) or with pure Bt-corn endotoxin. Cry1Ab concentrations were then determined with immunoassays. Additionally, surface water, soils and sediments were sampled in an area sprayed with Bt kurstaki and at a site where genetically-modified corn expressing Cry1Ab is grown. Isotopic analysis was performed on the endotoxin from Bt and Bt corn to characterize the proportions of 13C/12C and 15N/14N. The results showed that Bt-corn endotoxin is degraded more rapidly in water than in soils (t1/2: 4 and 9 days, respectively), while crystals appeared to be more resilient, as expected. The isotopic patterns of 13C and 15N in Bt-corn endotoxin differed markedly from Bt, making it possible to track the source of Cry1Ab in the environment. Preliminary field surveys indicate that Cry1Ab is fairly uncommon in aquatic environments, being found only at trace concentrations when it is detected.
Publication date
LanguageEnglish
AffiliationNRC Biotechnology Research Institute; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedNo
NRC number47214
NPARC number3540317
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Record identifier8ad0f3e6-3b22-4c69-bf61-727748b5a243
Record created2009-03-01
Record modified2016-05-09
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