Glycolipids as receptors for Bacillus thuringienses crystal toxin

Joel S. Griffitts, Stuart M. Haslam, Tinglu Yang, Stephan F. Garczynski, Barbara Mulloy, Howard Morris, Paul S. Cremer, Anne Dell, Michael J. Adang, Raffi V. Aroian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

296 Scopus citations


The development of pest resistance threatens the effectiveness of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxins used in transgenic and organic farming. Here, we demonstrate that (i) the major mechanism for Bt toxin resistance in Caenorhabditis elegans entails a loss of glycolipid carbohydrates; (ii) Bt toxin directly and specifically binds glycolipids; and (iii) this binding is carbohydrate-dependent and relevant for toxin action in vivo. These carbohydrates contain the arthroseries core conserved in insects and nematodes but lacking in vertebrates. We present evidence that insect glycolipids are also receptors for Bt toxin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)922-925
Number of pages4
Issue number5711
StatePublished - Feb 11 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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