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Biotechnological advances in Bacillus thuringiensis and its toxins: Recent updates

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Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) and its products are commonly used to control insect pests. The main issue with these bacteria is their limited field stability. These constraints fueled interest in using several molecular, biological, and biotechnological techniques to develop new recombinant Bt toxins with a broader insect spectrum, improved environmental stability and more efficient delivery of toxins to pest insects control. However, the potential environmental impact of using recombinant Bt strains and genetically engineered Bt crops includes gene flows into wild species and their unintended consequences on parasitoids and predators. The development of new hybrid/mutated Bt insecticidal toxins, with enhanced insecticidal activity and/or a broader spectrum of target insects, will continue to be a useful strategy for controlling resistant insect pests and delaying resistance evolution. Furthermore, the use of other genes encoding non-Bt proteins with insecticidal properties and different modes of action, such as protease inhibitors, lectins, cholesterol oxidases and chitinases, isolated from various sources will be critical in providing new weapons for the fight against insect damage.

This review thoroughly describes recent advances and the most recent updates in the new potential applications of Bt, making it a remarkable new cell factory that can be employed to control pests.

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UA designed the study. GSJ; New characteristics and properties of Bacillus thuringiensis, ES; The success of Bacillus thuringiensis in the biological control, VS; Advances in biotechnology of Bacillus thuringiensis, UA; Ecological impact of Bacillus thuringiensis toxins. All authors read and approved the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Ugur Azizoglu.

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Azizoglu, U., Salehi Jouzani, G., Sansinenea, E. et al. Biotechnological advances in Bacillus thuringiensis and its toxins: Recent updates. Rev Environ Sci Biotechnol 22, 319–348 (2023).

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