Evaluation of an rRNA-targeted oligonucleotide probe for the detection of mosquitocidal strains of Bacillus sphaericus in soils: Characterization of novel strains lacking toxin genes

Ulrich Jahnz, Alisdair Fitch, Fergus G. Priest

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    9 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Colonies of Bacillus sphaericus on primary isolation have been identified using an oligonucleotide probe targeted to a specific region of the 16S rRNA. Of 3440 colonies from soil samples from Brazil, 57 hybridized to the probe in colony blots but when purified DNA was used in slot-blots the probe was more specific and only 27 isolates hybridized. Of these, 20 strains were confirmed as members of DNA homology group IIA (potential mosquitocidal strains) by ribotyping and isoenzyme analysis. However, none of these strains was toxic to Anopheles or Culex larvae, nor did they contain recognized toxin genes. This is the first demonstration of such non-pathogenic strains of B. sphaericus DNA homology group IIA and their common occurrence suggests that pathogenicity is not an important contribution to the success of these bacteria in the environment. Similar screening of strains from Scottish soils indicated that B. sphaericus DNA homology group IIA strains were less common in this habitat and none were recovered on this occasion.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)91-99
    Number of pages9
    JournalFEMS Microbiology Ecology
    Volume20
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 1996

    Keywords

    • Bacillus sphaericus
    • Mosquitocidal toxins
    • Oligonucleotide probe

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