Bacillus thuringiensis var israelensis parasporal crystal delta-endotoxin was purified by ultracentrifugation on a discontinuous sucrose gradient. Native delta-endotoxin crystals showed no detectable toxicity in the vitro and in vivo systems that are described. By contrast alkali-solubilized crystal delta-endotoxin caused rapid cytological and cytopathological changes in Aedes albopictus, Choristoneura fumiferana 63 CF1, Spodoptera frugiperda and Trichoplusia ni cell lines as observed by phase-contrast microscopy and vital staining. Mouse fibroblasts, primary pig lymphocytes and three mouse epithelial carcinoma cell types showed a similar response to the alkali-soluble crystal delta-endotoxin. In addition the soluble crystal delta-endotoxin protein caused haemolysis of rat, mouse, sheep, horse and human erythrocytes. Intravenous administration of the alkali-soluble crystal delta-endotoxin to Balb. c mice at a dose rate of 15–30 micrograms of protein per gram body weight resulted in rapid paralysis followed by death within 12h. Subcutaneous inoculation of 15–30 micrograms of protein per gram body weight resulted in death of suckling mice in 2–3 h. The alkali-solubilized crystal delta-endotoxin was not toxic however, when administered per os. A comparison is made with a similar alkali-soluble fraction from the parasporal crystal delta-endotoxin of B. thuringiensis var kurstaki. With the exception of the Lepidopteran cell line, Choristoneura fumiferana 63 CF1, this soluble crystal delta-endotoxin protein showed no in vitro or in vivo toxicity, and no haemolytic activity.

This content is only available via PDF.