The biotechnology of Bacillus thuringiensis

Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
R E AndrewsL A Bulla


One of the challenges in the application of biotechnology to pest control is the identification of agents found in nature which can be used effectively. Biotechnology offers the potential of developing pesticides based on such agents which will provide environmentally sound and economically feasible insect control alternatives. Such an agent, the insect pathogen Bacillus thuringiensis, is the subject of intense investigations in several laboratories. Insecticides which use the entomocidal properties of B. thuringiensis are currently produced and sold worldwide; new products are currently in the development stage. Herein, the biology and genetics of B. thuringiensis and the problems associated with current products are critically reviewed with respect to biotechnology. Moreover, the economic and regulatory implications of technologically advanced products are evaluated.


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