Raising activity of Bacillus thuringiensis var. Israelensis against Anopheles stephensi larvae by encapsulation in Tetrahymena pyriformis (Hymenostomatida: Tetrahymenidae)

Robert Manasherob, Eitan Ben-Dov, Joel Margalit, Arieh Zaritsky, Ze'ev Barak

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15 Scopus citations


Toxicity of Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis (B.t.i.) against surface-feeding mosquito larvae of Anopheles stephensi was enhanced by encapsulation in the protozoan Tetrahymena pyriformis. In the laboratory, larvae died about 8 times faster when exposed to protozoan cells filled with B.t.i. than when exposed to the same concentrations of B.t.i. alone. Best larvicidal activities were achieved with ratios of 1:200-1:500 T. pyriformis cells to B t.i. spores. The concentration of B.t.i. needed to kill 50% of exposed populations was 4-fold lower with T. pyriformis than with B.t.i. alone in 100 ml-test cups. Toxicity enhancement is very likely a consequence of concentrating B.t.i. insecticidal crystal proteins in T. pyriformis cells and floating them to the water surface in the larval feeding zone. Reduction in the exposure time of B.t.i. to unfavorable field conditions, as a result of the decrease in larval mortality time, might improve the persistence of this biological control agent in nature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)627-631
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Mosquito Control Association
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Dec 1996


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