Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis (B.t.i.) is a promising, safe toxic agent for control of mosquitoes, but the rapid disappearance of its toxicity makes its use in practice economically unattractive. The lack of evidence for B.t.i. multiplication in water also makes the natural ecology of B.t.i. puzzling. The observation that mosquito larvae readily cannibalize carcasses of B.t.i.-killed larvae, and that the carcasses become toxic to scavenging larvae provides a possible solution to this puzzle. Several experimental techniques have been developed to study these phenomena (e.g., quantitative determination of spore numbers despite aggregation, protocols for following toxicity development, etc.). Results suggest a cycle involving larval poisoning and death due to delta-endotoxin of ca. 1,000 spores, germination, vegetative growth and sporulation (with toxin production) of B.t.i. after multiplication to several million in the carcass. Implications of these results for the ecology of B.t.i., and for practical applications in mosquito control, are discussed.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Acta Microbiologica Polonica|
|State||Published - 1 Dec 1986|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology