What does Bacillus thuringiensis do to corn?

Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is a soil bacterium that produces insecticidal toxins. Genes from Bt can be inserted into crop plants to make them capable of producing an insecticidal toxin and therefore resistant to certain pests. There are no known adverse human health effects associated with Bt corn.

What is Bt corn resistant to?

The western corn rootworm, a major insect pest in the Midwestern United States, has evolved resistance to genetically engineered corn that produces insecticidal proteins derived from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt).

What is corn insect resistance?

Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is a soil bacterium that produces insecticidal toxins. Genes from Bt can be inserted into crop plants to make them capable of producing an insecticidal toxins and therefore resistant to certain pests. Corn hybrids with one or more Bt genes (Bt corn) are resistant to some important pests.

What are Bt resistant insects?

These five cases include resistance to Bt corn in three pests (Busseola fusca, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera and Spodoptera frugiperda) and resistance to Bt cotton in two pests (Helicoverpa zea and Pectinophora gossypiella; Tables 1 and 2 and Boxes 2 and 3).

How does Bacillus thuringiensis work?

How does Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) work? Bt makes toxins that target insect larvae when eaten. In their gut, the toxins are activated. The activated toxin breaks down their gut, and the insects die of infection and starvation.

How does Bt corn affect the environment?

After a decade of cultivation, environmental benefits are emerging. Bt corn reduces the need for pesticides, and while the primary benefit comes largely during a heavy corn-borer infestation, an unpredictable event, a secondary effect is that beneficial insects fare much better under these conditions.

What is insecticide?

They include such chemicals as hydrogen cyanide, naphthalene, nicotine, and methyl bromide and are used mainly for killing insect pests of stored products or for fumigating nursery stock.

Why is Bt corn better than pesticides?

Since Bt-corn offers an alternative to spraying chemical insecticides, it offers environmental and economic benefits to farmers. Most Bt toxins are selective for specific caterpillars and closely related species. There are no known effects to mammals, fish, or birds, and they appear safe for consumers.

How is corn made insect resistant?

The Bt gene with the resistance gene attached is inserted into plant cells. Research to transfer insect resistance genes from Bt to crop plants is well under way. Corn, cotton and potatoes are three of the many commercial crops targeted for Bt insect resistance.

What is meant by pest resistance?

Pest resistance is a condition where pests (insects, small animals, mites, weeds, etc.) are able to resist, and therefore do not get affected, by pesticides. These creatures are said to be pest resistant.

What is Bt organism?

Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), soil-dwelling bacterium that naturally produces a toxin that is fatal to certain herbivorous insects. The toxin produced by Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) has been used as an insecticide spray since the 1920s and is commonly used in organic farming.

How do insects become resistant to Bt?

When ingested, the insecticidal toxins in Bt kill insects by destroying their guts. Insects in the field develop resistance to it, however, via a genetic mechanism that alters a toxin receptor in the insect’s gut, two Cornell researchers have discovered. Farmers first reported Bt resistance in the field 20 years ago.

How are Bacillus thuringiensis ( Bt ) crops modified?

Bacillus thuringiensis ( Bt) crops are plants genetically engineered (modified) to contain the endospore (or crystal) toxins of the bacterium, Bt to be resistant to certain insect pests. In 1995, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in USA approved the commercial production and distribution of the Bt crops: corn, cotton, potato, and tobacco.

What’s the name of the bacterium that makes corn BT?

Eighty-five percent of the corn produced in the United States is genetically modified, according to the Center for Food Safety. Much of the genetically modified corn has been engineered to produce a soil bacterium called bacillus thuringiensis, or Bt, which is an effective insecticide.

Where did Bacillus thuringiensis get its name from?

In 1911, Ernst Berliner isolated this bacterium from dead Mediterranean flour moth in Thuringia, Germany, and named it Bt. In 1915, Berliner reported the existence of a parasporal body, or crystalline inclusion (called crystal) close to the endospore within Bt spore (Fig. 1 ), but the activity of the crystal was not then discovered (Milner 1994 ).

How does Bt corn kill a susceptible insect?

To kill a susceptible insect, a part of the plant that contains the Bt protein (not all parts of the plant necessarily contain the protein in equal concentrations) must be ingested. Within minutes, the protein binds to the gut wall and the insect stops feeding. Within hours, the gut wall breaks down and normal gut bacteria invade the body cavity.