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Identification of Bt toxins to target Asian Citrus Psyllid for HLB treatment in citrus
Category(s):
For Information, Contact:
Dario Valenzuela
Senior Commercialization Manager, Life Sciences
515-294-4740
licensing@iastate.edu
Web Published:
9/9/2016
ISURF #
4477
Summary:
ISU researchers have identified several Cry toxins from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) for the management of Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP) and the associated HLB disease in the citrus industry.

Development Stage:
Description:
The Asian citrus psyllid (ACP, Diaphorina citri Kuwayama) is an important pest of citrus in several countries. ACP can transmit bacterium, Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus, which causes a devastating citrus disease called huanglongbing (HLB), also known as citrus greening disease. The disease destroys citrus trees in many countries and states, including Florida. It is estimated that this insect-disease combination has cost the citrus industry in Florida $1.3 billion in losses. Currently, ACP management is mainly driven by chemical insecticide applications, but these are costly and insecticide resistance in ACP has been noted. It also has non-target impacts on beneficial insects including butterflies and honeybees. To address this problem, insecticidal toxins derived from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is adopted as an environmentally benign alternative to the application of chemical insecticides. ISU researchers screened multiple strains of Bt for toxicity against ACP and identified that 1) combinations of toxins derived from six strains of Bt are toxic to ACP. 2) Two individual toxins Cry1Ab and Cry1B derived from one of these strains are toxic to ACP. 3) Cry1Ab can be modified with four ACP gut-binding peptides to enhance toxicity against ACP. This method would provide a more sustainable and environmentally friendly approach for management of ACP and the associated HLB disease than repeated application of broad-spectrum insecticides.

Advantage:
• An economic and efficient way for the management of ACP
• Ecofriendly and beneficial to the public health
• Have no detrimental impact on beneficial insects (e.g. honeybee)
Application:
Insect control
Patent Information:
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Patent:
Patent(s) applied for

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