Workshop on Important Arthropod Pests of the Caribbean Basin Amenable to Biological Control: Homoptera, Coleoptera, Lepidoptera: Application of Biotechnology for Improvement of Bacillus Thuringiensis Based Products and Their use for Control of Lepidopteran Pests in the Caribbean

Wendy D. Gelernter


Increased use of products based on Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) in the Caribbean has led to increased awareness of the advantages, as well as the limitations of these biological insecticides. To improve the performance of Bt based products, recombinant DNA technology has been utilized to transfer the Bt delta endotoxin gene to microbes and plants. When the Bt protein is expressed in these recombinant organisms, improved delivery, persistence and insecticidal activity have been demonstrated. In this paper, the status of current research efforts to improve Bt will be reviewed, and future prospects for the development of products based on genetically engineered organisms will be discussed.

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