Insecticidal proteins from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) are used widely in sprays and transgenic crops to control insect pests. However, evolution of resistance by pests can reduce the efficacy of Bt toxins. Here we analyzed resistance to Bt toxins Cry1Ac and Cry1Fa in the diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella), one of the world’s most destructive pests of vegetable crops. We used CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing to create strains with knockouts of the ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter genes PxABCC2, PxABCC3, or both. Bioassay results show that knocking out either gene alone caused at most 2.9-fold resistance but knocking out both caused >10,320-fold resistance to Cry1Ac and 380-fold resistance to Cry1Fa. Cry1Ac resistance in the double knockout strain was recessive and genetically linked with the PxABCC2/PxABCC3 loci. The results provide insight into the mechanism of cross-resistance to Cry1Fa in diamondback moth. They also confirm previous work with this pest showing that mutations disrupting both genes cause higher resistance to Cry1Ac than mutations affecting either PxABCC2 or PxABCC3 alone. Together with previous work, the results here highlight the value of using single and multiple gene knockouts to better understand the independent and synergistic effects of putative Bt toxin receptors on resistance to Bt toxins.
- Bacillus thuringiensis
- Plutella xylostella
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis