Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 146, Issue 1, pp 7–11 | Cite as

Binding and activity ofBacillus thuringiensis delta-endotoxin to invertebrate cells

  • Christina Hofmann
  • Peter Lüthy
Original Papers


Fluorescein isothiocyanate was used as a label to detect delta-endotoxin ofBacillus thuringiensis subsp.thuringiensis andisraelensis in binding studies with different in vitro cell systems. Protoxin of the subspeciesthuringiensis could be labelled directly whereas the activated toxin had to be traced indirectly with labelled antibodies. Both protoxin and activated toxin bound to primary midgut cell cultures ofPieris brassicae larvae as well as to cells of an established culture ofDrosophila melanogaster. No binding with either toxin form could be observed with hemocytes ofP. brassicae. Biological activity as shown by the trypan blue viability assay was obtained only with the activated toxin against the midgut cells. Toxin of the subspeciesisraelensis reacted very unspecifically. Binding followed by rapid destruction was obtained with all the tested cultures.

Key words

Bacillus thuringiensis Delta-endotoxin Mode of action Binding specificity FITC-labelling Antibodies 



fluorescein isothiocyanate


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christina Hofmann
    • 1
  • Peter Lüthy
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of MicrobiologySwiss Federal Institute of TechnologyZürichSwitzerland

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