Bacillus thuringiensis is a bacterium used for biopesticides production and pest-resistant plants due to the synthesis of protein crystals by cry genes, which are effective in controlling several insect orders such as Lepidoptera. This work aimed at the evaluation and characterisation of two new B. thuringiensis isolates active against A. gemmatalis (Hübner 1818) larvae, which is the soybean major pest. The results showed that Bt117-4 isolate amplified fragments corresponding to cry2 and cry9 genes, and synthesised protein fragments equivalent to 130, 90 and 45 kDa. The Bt3146-4 isolate amplified DNA fragments corresponding to cry9 gene and synthesised protein fragments of 70, 58 and 38 kDa. Transmission electron microscopy revealed the presence of protein crystals in both isolates. CL50 with Cry purified proteins from Bt117-4 and Bt3146-4, corresponded to 0.195 and 0.191 µg larvae-1, respectively. The two B. thuringiensis isolates selected in this study were effective to control velvetbean caterpillar at laboratory conditions. Field tests should be carried on to develop new biopesticides formulation as well for cry genes resource for Anticarsia gemmatalis resistant transgenic plants.
Lepidoptera; velvetbean caterpillar; cry genes; Bacillus thuringiensis