Genomics and Proteomics Analyses Revealed Novel Candidate Pesticidal Proteins in a Lepidopteran-Toxic Bacillus thuringiensis Strain
Discovery and identification of novel insecticidal proteins in Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) strains are of crucial importance for efficient biological control of pests and better management of insect resistance. In this study, the Bt strain KhF, toxic for Plodia interpunctella and Grapholita molesta larvae, underwent genomics and proteomics analyses to achieve a better understanding of the bases of its pathogenicity. The whole-genome sequencing results revealed that the KhF strain contained nine
... rain contained nine coding sequences with homologies to Bt insecticidal genes. The lepidopteran toxic mixture of spores and crystals of this Bt strain was subjected to liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) to assess the protein composition. The results of the proteomic analyses, combined with the toxin gene sequences, revealed that two of the main components of the crystals were two new candidate pesticidal proteins, named KhFA and KhFB. These proteins showed a similarity lower than 36% to the other known Bt toxins. The phylogenetic analysis showed that the KhFA and KhFB grouped with the newly denominated Xpp and Mpp (former ETX/Mtx) pesticidal protein groups, respectively. Altogether, this study has led to the discovery of two novel candidate pesticidal toxins in the lepidopteran toxic KhF strain.