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Open AccessArticle

Histopathological Effects of Bt and TcdA Insecticidal Proteins on the Midgut Epithelium of Western Corn Rootworm Larvae (Diabrotica virgifera virgifera)

Dow AgroSciences, Indianapolis, IN 46268, USA
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Academic Editors: Juan Ferré and Baltasar Escriche
Toxins 2017, 9(5), 156; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins9050156
Received: 22 March 2017 / Revised: 20 April 2017 / Accepted: 28 April 2017 / Published: 8 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Insecticidal Bacterial Toxins in Modern Agriculture)
Western corn rootworm (WCR, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte) is a major corn pest in the United States, causing annual losses of over $1 billion. One approach to protect against crop loss by this insect is the use of transgenic corn hybrids expressing one or more crystal (Cry) proteins derived from Bacillus thuringiensis. Cry34Ab1 and Cry35Ab1 together comprise a binary insecticidal toxin with specific activity against WCR. These proteins have been developed as insect resistance traits in commercialized corn hybrids resistant to WCR feeding damage. Cry34/35Ab1 is a pore forming toxin, but the specific effects of Cry34/35Ab1 on WCR cells and tissues have not been well characterized microscopically, and the overall histopathology is poorly understood. Using high-resolution resin-based histopathology methods, the effects of Cry34/35Ab1 as well as Cry3Aa1, Cry6Aa1, and the Photorhabdus toxin complex protein TcdA have been directly visualized and documented. Clear symptoms of intoxication were observed for all insecticidal proteins tested, including swelling and sloughing of enterocytes, constriction of midgut circular muscles, stem cell activation, and obstruction of the midgut lumen. These data demonstrate the effects of these insecticidal proteins on WCR midgut cells, and the collective response of the midgut to intoxication. Taken together, these results advance our understanding of the insect cell biology and pathology of these insecticidal proteins, which should further the field of insect resistance traits and corn rootworm management. View Full-Text
Keywords: western corn rootworm; Diabrotica virgifera virgifera; histopathology; Bacillus thuringiensis; Cry34Ab1; Cry35Ab1 western corn rootworm; Diabrotica virgifera virgifera; histopathology; Bacillus thuringiensis; Cry34Ab1; Cry35Ab1
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bowling, A.J.; Pence, H.E.; Li, H.; Tan, S.Y.; Evans, S.L.; Narva, K.E. Histopathological Effects of Bt and TcdA Insecticidal Proteins on the Midgut Epithelium of Western Corn Rootworm Larvae (Diabrotica virgifera virgifera). Toxins 2017, 9, 156.

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