CAMTech launches the Bacterial Pesticidal Protein Resource Center
US NSF CAMTech
Oct 22 | 2 minutes read
The Center for Arthropod Management Technologies, CAMTech connects university and government researchers with industry partners, to expedite the delivery of pest management tools to the marketplace.
The institute’s interdisciplinary research team applies their expertise in genomics, physiology, biochemistry, toxicology, and molecular biology to develop new methods and tools for integrated arthropod and nematode pest management.
Pesticidal proteins derived from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) have been widely adopted for both protection of crops against herbivorous insects, and for control of insects affecting human health like mosquitoes.
The significance of these proteins is of central importance to CAMTech members and research in this area is critical to a broad range of stakeholders.
The increasing diversity of known Bt proteins and the expanding range of pesticidal proteins discovered from other bacteria created a need for an updated classification system. A CAMTech-funded collaboration among the University of Sussex, the University of Florida, and Cardiff University addresses this need through a publicly available comprehensive resource for scientists and regulators.
The new Bacterial Pesticidal Protein Information Resource Center (BPPRC) is the definitive site for updated information on pesticidal proteins
BPPRC.org was created as a public service to industry, regulators, and other stakeholders. The center provides information on the rapidly expanding field of pesticidal proteins, their bacterial sources, protein analysis links, and key publications. The associated database provides analyses and tools to enable a wide variety of users to enhance the sustainable control of insect pests.
A recent landmark paper has changed the naming system for bacteria-derived pesticidal proteins to reflect a greater understanding of the relationships among these proteins. These proteins have been grouped into families based on their structural similarity, and names for these proteins will reflect their relatedness.
An algorithm streamlines the naming process to expedite the assignment of official protein names. The prediction of useful biological associations has been expanded to include phylogenetic analyses of the proteins with and without protoxin regions, and for some proteins, of individual domains and subdomains.
This information is a critical step to facilitate regulatory requirements, including structural characteristics and specificity.
The BPPRC database provides bioinformatic analyses of the wide range of proteins now being considered for use in biologically based pest control. The BPPRC database allows users to find the best matches to their own sequence.
Sets of sequences and even the entire database with its analytical tools can be downloaded for private use. Encryption of sensitive information provides a mechanism for obtaining an official name without compromising privacy.
Sequences of other proteins that are potential bacterial pesticidal proteins, but do not satisfy the center’s criteria for formal naming, will also be made available for analyses. These data on artificially created mutants or hybrids would enrich the value of large-scale association studies.
The most ambitious long-term goal of the project is to collate information to allow users to associate sequence data with the biological properties of pesticidal proteins.
These biological properties include activity against a specific type of insect, cross-resistance to other proteins in a given insect, allergenicity potential, and interaction with particular receptor proteins in the target pest.
To learn more about the expanding field of bacterial pesticidal proteins, visit bpprc.org.