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Integrating Bacillus thuringiensis Bio-pesticide into Your Crop Protection Strategy

Have you ever envisioned a defender for your crops, a silent guardian working from the soil and foliage to constantly strive to protect against pests? Picture this: Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), a mighty microscopic hero armed with naturally produced proteins – a toxin, fatal to certain herbivorous insects. In the ever-evolving world of agriculture, where sustainability and chemical residues are in the spotlight, Bt emerges as the protagonist, promising a greener and more resilient future. Join us on a journey through the fields of innovation as we explore the captivating role of Bt Bio-pesticide in modern farming practices.

Characteristics of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt)

  • Bio-pesticide from nature: Bt is a Gram-positive, rod-shaped bacterium found ubiquitously in soils worldwide. Its lifecycle involves spore formation, which contains proteins that are lethal to insect larvae. This natural origin earns Bt the designation of a Bio-pesticide, a category associated with lower risks compared to synthetic pesticides.
  • Diverse Targets: Bt exhibits diverse strains, each tailored to affect larger insect groups. Its targets range from beetles and flies, to mosquitoes, aphids, moths, and nematodes. The bacterium produces delta-endotoxin, a crystalline protein with insecticidal properties, alongside cytolytic proteins.
  • Selective Toxicity: Bt strains synthesize Crystal (Cry) toxins, (endotoxins), at the onset of sporulation and during the stationary growth phase as parasporal inclusions. Once ingested by insects, the toxins are then activated in the midgut, leading to cell disruption and insect death. Notably, beneficial spiders and mites remain unaffected.

How does BT work as a Bio-pesticide?

Bacillus thuringiensis, or Bt, employs a unique mode of action that underscores its effectiveness as a Bio-pesticide. The process begins with Bt-toxin crystal proteins existing as inactive protoxins within the bacterium.

Once ingested by insect larvae, the alkaline conditions of the midgut trigger the activation of these protoxins. The crystal then transforms into an active form, and midgut proteases play a crucial role by cleaving the cry proteins, rendering them active.

The activated Bt-toxin then engages with glycoprotein or glycolipid receptors on the midgut’s epithelial cells. This interaction creates pores and establishes a cation-selective channel.

Consequently, the targeted insect experiences the destruction of epithelial cells, prompting alkaline midgut juices to flow into the haemolymph.

This process leads to paralysis, inhibition of feeding, and ultimately the demise of the pest.

Composition of Bacillus thuringiensis

BT has different components for different actions, like insecticidal properties, larvae toxicity, etc., which have been mentioned here.

Delta-endotoxinCrystalline protein with insecticidal properties
Cytolytic proteinsMosquitocidal and moderately toxic to some larvae
Cry genesEncodes proteins effective against different insects

Benefits of Bacillus thuringiensis

  • Reduced reliance on chemical insecticides: One of the primary advantages of integrating Bt into crop protection strategies is the reduced dependence on chemical insecticides. This shift towards sustainable practices aligns with the global push for eco-friendly solutions in agriculture. It has been proven that Bt formulations, insecticidal activity of Bt protein crystals can prolong their toxicity in shelf life or field under specific conditions, and this can improve the use and acceptability to control insect vectors of diseases.
  • High specificity and safety: Bt exhibits high specificity, selectively targeting only specific pests without adversely affecting humans, animals, or beneficial organisms. This specificity minimizes the ecological impact of pest control measures, fostering a healthier agricultural ecosystem.
  • Enhanced Crop Yield: By providing effective pest control, Bt helps prevent crop damage, ultimately leading to increased yields. This positive impact on productivity contributes to the economic viability of farming practices, which is a critical aspect for farmers worldwide.

Dosage for Foliar Application

For optimal effectiveness of Bacillus thuringiensis in pest control, Peptech Biosciences Ltd. recommends a dosage of 1kg per acre for foliar application.

Target Plants

Bt demonstrates versatility, proving effective for various crops. These include cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, potatoes, tomatoes, corn, cotton, soyabean, brinjal, turnips, beetroot, green vegetables, melons, lettuce, sugarcane, ornamentals, guava, and more.

Target Pests

Bt showcases efficacy against a range of pests, including the european corn borer, south-western corn borer, fall armyworm, tobacco budworm, cotton bollworm, pink bollworm, coddling moth, colorado potato beetle, tomato pinworm, and various orders within Lepidoptera, Coleoptera, and Diptera. Incorporating Bacillus thuringiensis into your crop protection strategy is not just about combating pests; it’s a step towards a sustainable, eco-friendly and harmonious relationship between agriculture and the environment. As we navigate the challenges of modern farming, solutions like Bt showcase the potential for effective, safe, and eco-friendly pest management. The integration of Bio-pesticide is not just a trend; it’s a pivotal step towards a greener and climate-resilient agriculture of the future.

At Peptech Biosciences Ltd., we can customise the CFU as per your needs.