Avoiding Resistance

Science's STKE  11 Dec 2007:
Vol. 2007, Issue 416, pp. tw454
DOI: 10.1126/stke.4162007tw454

Among the most commonly used classes of pesticides are toxins produced by the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis, known as Bt toxins. The primary threat to the efficacy of Bt toxins is the evolution of resistance by pests. In major pests, resistance to Bt toxins in the Cry1A family is linked to alterations in cadherin proteins that act as primary toxin receptors in the midgut of susceptible insects. Now Soberón et al. (see the Perspective by Moar) show that engineered Bt toxins can overcome insect resistance. Furthermore, in investigating the effectiveness of these engineered proteins, the authors provided evidence for the means by which these toxins cause mortality in insects.

M. Soberón, L. Pardo-López, I. López, I. Gómez, B. E. Tabashnik, A. Bravo, Engineering modified Bt toxins to counter insect resistance. Science 318, 1640-1642 (2007). [Abstract] [Full Text]

W. J. Moar, K. J. Anilkumar, The power of the pyramid. Science 318, 1561-1562 (2007). [Summary] [Full Text]