Functional expression of lepidopteran-selective neurotoxin in baculovirus: Potential for effective pest management

Wudayagiri Rajendra, Kevin J. Hackett, Ellen Buckley, Bruce D. Hammock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Recombinant baculovirus expressing insect-selective neurotoxins derived from venomous animals are considered as an attractive alternative to chemical insecticides for efficient insect control agents. Recently we identified and characterized a novel lepidopteran-selective toxin, Buthus tamulus insect-selective toxin (ButaIT), having 37 amino acids and eight half cysteine residues from the venom of the South Indian red scorpion, Mesobuthus tamulus. The synthetic toxin gene containing the ButaIT sequence in frame to the bombyxin signal sequence was engineered into a polyhedrin positive Autographa californica nuclear polyhedrosis virus (AcMNPV) genome under the control of the p10 promoter. Toxin expression in the haemolymph of infected larvae of Heliothis virescens and also in an insect cell culture system was confirmed by western blot analysis using antibody raised against the GST-ButaIT fusion protein. The recombinant NPV (ButaIT-NPV) showed enhanced insecticidal activity on the larvae of Heliothis virescens as evidenced by a significant reduction in median survival time (ST50) and also a greater reduction in feeding damage as compared to the wild-type AcMNPV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)158-163
Number of pages6
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - General Subjects
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2006


  • Baculovirus
  • Heliothis virescens
  • Integrated pest management
  • Lepidopteran-selective toxin
  • Mesobuthus tamulus
  • Recombinant biopesticide
  • Scorpion venom

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Molecular Biology


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