- Department of Molecular Sciences, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Schneider, Salome; Hendriksen, Niels B.; Melin, Petter; Lundström, Jan O.; Sundh, Ingvar
Bacillus thuringiensis serovar israelensis is a wide-spread soil bacterium affiliated with the B. cereus group (Bcg) and is widely used in biocontrol products applied against mosquito and black fly larvae. For monitoring and quantification of applied B. thuringiensis serovar israelensis and its effect on indigenous B. thuringiensis serovar israelensis and Bcg assemblages, efficient and reliable tools are essential. The abundance and properties of B. thuringiensis serovar israelensis strains in the environment traditionally have been investigated with cultivation-dependent techniques, which are hampered by low sensitivity and the morphological similarity between B. cereus and B. thuringiensis. Currently available PCR-based detection and quantification tools target markers located on plasmids. In this study, a new cultivation-independent PCR-based method for efficient and specific quantification of B. thuringiensis serovar israelensis and Bcg is presented, utilizing two sets of PCR primers targeting the bacterial chromosome. Sequence database searches and empirical tests performed on target and nontarget species, as well as on bulk soil DNA samples, demonstrated that this diagnostic tool is specific for B. thuringiensis serovar israelensis and Bcg. The method will be useful for comparisons of Bcg and B. thuringiensis serovar israelensis abundances in the same samples. Moreover, the effect of B. thuringiensis serovar israelensis-based insecticide application on the total Bcg assemblages, including indigenous populations, can be investigated. This type of information is valuable in risk assessment and policy making for use of B. thuringiensis serovar israelensis in the environment.
Applied and Environmental Microbiology
2015, Volume: 81, number: 15, pages: 4894-4903
Publisher: AMER SOC MICROBIOLOGY