Lookup NU author(s): Professor Angharad MR Gatehouse
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Red kidney bean, Phaseolus vulgaris, contains a lectin phytohemagglutinin (PHA) with toxicity towards higher animals. PHA exists in the isoforms PHA-E and PHA-L, which agglutinate erythrocytes and lymphocytes, respectively. Lacanobia oleracea larvae were reared from hatch on artificial diets containing PHA-E or PHA-L at 2% (w/w) dietary protein, and on transgenic Arabidopsis plants expressing either lectin at 0.4-0.6% of total soluble proteins. In artificial diet bioassays neither lectin affected larval survival, development, growth nor consumption. In transgenic plant bioassays both PHA-E and PHA-L promoted larval growth and development. This effect was greatest for PHA-E. Mean larval biomass of insects fed on plants expressing PHA-E was significantly greater (up to two-fold) than controls during the final two instars and the insects developed at a significantly greater rate so that after 26 days 83% of PHA-E exposed insects were in the final instar compared to 44% for control insects. PHA-E and PHA-L were detected by Western blotting in haemolymph, sampled from insects fed diets or plant material containing the lectins. However, despite the demonstrated potential for both isolectins to bind to gut glycopolypeptides in vitro neither was found to accumulate in vivo in the guts of exposed insects. Since lectin binding to gut polypeptides is thought to be necessary for insecticidal activity the failure of PHA-E and PHA-L to bind in vivo may account for their lack of toxicity to L. oleracea. Crown Copyright © 2001 Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Author(s): Gatehouse AMR; Fitches E; Ilett C; Gatehouse LN; Greene R; Edwards JP; Gatehouse JA
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Journal of Insect Physiology
Print publication date: 01/01/2001
ISSN (print): 0022-1910
ISSN (electronic): 1879-1611
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