Persistence of Bacillus thuringiensis deposits in a hardwood forest, after aerial application of a commercial formulation at two dosage rates

K. M S Sundaram, A. Sundaram, B. D. Hammock

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12 Scopus citations


A commercial formulation of Bacillus thuringiensis Berliner var. kurstaki (BTK), Foray® 48B, was sprayed aerially over four blocks B13, B14, B15A and B15B in an oak forest in Wayne County, Pennsylvania during May 1990. B13 and B14 were sprayed at 75 billion international units (BIU) in 5.91 litres/ha and the other two at 50 BIU in 3.94 litres/ha. Oak foliage was collected at different intervals of time after treatment. Three types of bioassays were conducted against fourth instar gypsy moth larvae, viz., direct feeding of sprayed foliage, feeding on diet containing homogenized foliage, and force- feeding of foliar extracts. Larval mortalities were converted into international units of BTK activity per unit area (IU/cm2) of foliage. Foliar extracts were also subjected to enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to determine the concentration of delta-endotoxin protein. Regardless of the type of bioassay used, bioactivity of BTK persisted in foliage for about a week in all the blocks. The half-life of inactivation, DT50, ranged from ca 12 to 22 h. The immunoassay data indicated a shorter duration of persistence (i.e., about 2 d) of the delta-endotoxin protein, with DT50 values ranging from 10 to 15 h. Formulation ingredients present in Foray 48B played a role in the toxicity of BTK to gypsy moth larvae.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)999-1052
Number of pages54
JournalJournal of Environmental Science and Health - Part B Pesticides, Food Contaminants, and Agricultural Wastes
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1994


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Waste Management and Disposal

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