Insecticidal Activity and Lectin Homology of Arcelin Seed Protein

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Science  08 Apr 1988:
Vol. 240, Issue 4849, pp. 207-210
DOI: 10.1126/science.240.4849.207


Arcelin, a major seed protein discovered in wild beans (Phaseolus vulgaris), has toxic effects on an important bean bruchid pest, Zabrotes subfasciatus. Transfer of the arcelin-1allele to bean cultivars and addition of purified arcelin to artificial seeds results in high levels of insect resistance. The nucleotide and derived amino acid sequences of the arcelin-1 complementary DNA are very similar to those of genes encoding the bean seed lectin, phytohemagglutinin. The gene or genes encoding arcelin may have evolved from a phytohemagglutinin gene or genes resulting in an effective mechanism for resistance to bean bruchids.

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