Plant Science

Soil microbes yield insecticidal peptide

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Science  04 Nov 2016:
Vol. 354, Issue 6312, pp. 593-594
DOI: 10.1126/science.354.6312.593-i

The microbial peptide BT, derived from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis, is widely used to protect crops from insect pests. Schellenberger et al. identified another insecticidal peptide from a different soil-dwelling bacterium, Pseudomonas chlororaphis (see the Perspective by Tabashnik). Corn plants expressing the Pseudomonas peptide were protected from attack by western corn rootworm. Rootworms that were resistant to BT were susceptible to the Pseudomonas peptide. Addition of another insecticidal peptide diversifies the arsenal against insect pests, which may slow down the development of resistance.

Science, this issue p. 634; see also p. 552

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