Characterization of a highly toxic strain of Bacillus thuringiensis serovar kurstaki very similar to the HD-73 strain

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The LBIT-1200 strain of Bacillus thuringiensis was recently isolated from soil, and showed a 6.4 and 9.5 increase in toxicity, against Manduca sexta and Trichoplusia ni, respectively, compared to HD-73. However, LBIT-1200 was still highly similar to HD-73, including the production of bipyramidal crystals containing only one protein of ∼130 000 kDa, its flagellin gene sequence related to the kurstaki serotype, plasmid and RepPCR patterns similar to HD-73, no production of β-exotoxin and no presence of VIP genes. Sequencing of its cry gene showed the presence of a cry1Ac-type gene with four amino acid differences, including two amino acid replacements in domain III, compared to Cry1Ac1, which may explain its higher toxicity. In conclusion, the LBIT-1200 strain is a variant of the HD-73 strain but shows a much higher toxicity, which makes this new strain an important candidate to be developed as a bioinsecticide, once it passes other tests, throughout its biotechnological development.

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