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Cry toxins are insecticidal proteins produced by Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). They are used commercially to control insect pests since they are very active in specific insects and are harmless to the environment and human health. The gene encoding ATP-binding cassette subfamily A member 2 (ABCA2) was identified in an analysis of Cry2A toxin resistance genes. However, we do not have direct evidence for the role of ABCA2 for Cry2A toxins or why Cry2A toxin resistance does not cross to other Cry toxins. Therefore, we performed two experiments. First, we edited the ABCA2 sequence in Bombyx mori using transcription activator-like effector-nucleases (TALENs) and confirmed the susceptibility-determining ability in a diet overlay bioassay. Strains with C-terminal half-deleted BmABCA2 showed strong and specific resistance to Cry2A toxins; even strains carrying a deletion of 1 to 3 amino acids showed resistance. However, the C-terminal half-deleted strains did not show cross-resistance to other toxins. Second, we conducted a cell swelling assay and confirmed the specific ability of BmABCA2 to Cry2A toxins in HEK239 cells. Those demonstrated that BmABCA2 is a functional receptor for Cry2A toxins and that BmABCA2 deficiency-dependent Cry2A resistance does not confer cross-resistance to Cry1A, Cry1F, Cry1Ca, Cry1Da, or Cry9Aa toxins.


Xiaoyi Li, Kazuhisa Miyamoto, Yoko Takasu, Sanae Wada, Tetsuya Iizuka, Satomi Adegawa, Ryoichi Sato, Kenji Watanabe. ATP-Binding Cassette Subfamily A Member 2 is a Functional Receptor for Bacillus thuringiensis Cry2A Toxins in Bombyx mori, but not for Cry1A, Cry1C, Cry1D, Cry1F, or Cry9A Toxins. Toxins. 2020 Feb 06;12(2)

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PMID: 32041133

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