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The effects of Phaseolus vulgaris erythro- and leucoagglutinating isolectins (PHA-E and PHA-L) delivered via artificial diet and transgenic plants on the growth and development of tomato moth (Lacanobia oleracea) larvae; lectin binding to gut glycoproteins in vitro and in vivo

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Angharad MR GatehouseORCiD


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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.

Publication metadata

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

Year: 2001

Volume: 47

Issue: 12

Pages: 1389-1398

Print publication date: 01/01/2001

ISSN (print): 0022-1910

ISSN (electronic): 1879-1611

Publisher: Pergamon


DOI: 10.1016/S0022-1910(01)00129-9


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