Bacillus thuringiensis Cry34Ab1/Cry35Ab1 interactions with western corn rootworm midgut membrane binding sites.PLoS One. 2013; 8(1):e53079.Plos
Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) Cry34Ab1/Cry35Ab1 are binary insecticidal proteins that are co-expressed in transgenic corn hybrids for control of western corn rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte. Bt crystal (Cry) proteins with limited potential for field-relevant cross-resistance are used in combination, along with non-transgenic corn refuges, as a strategy to delay development of resistant rootworm populations. Differences in insect midgut membrane binding site interactions are one line of evidence that Bt protein mechanisms of action differ and that the probability of receptor-mediated cross-resistance is low.
Binding site interactions were investigated between Cry34Ab1/Cry35Ab1 and coleopteran active insecticidal proteins Cry3Aa, Cry6Aa, and Cry8Ba on western corn rootworm midgut brush border membrane vesicles (BBMV). Competitive binding of radio-labeled proteins to western corn rootworm BBMV was used as a measure of shared binding sites. Our work shows that (125)I-Cry35Ab1 binds to rootworm BBMV, Cry34Ab1 enhances (125)I-Cry35Ab1 specific binding, and that (125)I-Cry35Ab1 with or without unlabeled Cry34Ab1 does not share binding sites with Cry3Aa, Cry6Aa, or Cry8Ba. Two primary lines of evidence presented here support the lack of shared binding sites between Cry34Ab1/Cry35Ab1 and the aforementioned proteins: 1) No competitive binding to rootworm BBMV was observed for competitor proteins when used in excess with (125)I-Cry35Ab1 alone or combined with unlabeled Cry34Ab1, and 2) No competitive binding to rootworm BBMV was observed for unlabeled Cry34Ab1 and Cry35Ab1, or a combination of the two, when used in excess with (125)I-Cry3Aa, or (125)I-Cry8Ba.
Combining two or more insecticidal proteins active against the same target pest is one tactic to delay the onset of resistance to either protein. We conclude that Cry34Ab1/Cry35Ab1 are compatible with Cry3Aa, Cry6Aa, or Cry8Ba for deployment as insect resistance management pyramids for in-plant control of western corn rootworm.