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Effects of physicochemical interactions and microbial activity on the persistence of Cry1Aa Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) toxin in soil

Helassa N., M'Charek A., Quiquampoix H., Noinville S., Déjardin P., Frutos R., Staunton S.. 2011. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 43 (5) : p. 1089-1097.

Genetically modified crops, that produce Cry insecticidal crystal proteins (Cry) from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), release these toxins into soils through root exudates and upon decomposition of residues. The fate of these toxins in soil has not yet been clearly elucidated. Persistence can be influenced by biotic (degradation by microorganisms) and abiotic factors (physicochemical interactions with soil components, especially adsorption). The aim of this study was to follow the fate of Cry1Aa Bt toxin in contrasting soils subjected to different treatments to enhance or inhibit microbial activity, in order to establish the importance of biotic and abiotic processes for the fate of Bt toxin. The toxin was efficiently extracted from each soil using an alkaline buffer containing a protein, bovine serum albumin, and a nonionic surfactant, Tween 20. The marked decline of extractable toxin after incubation of weeks to months was soil-dependent. The decrease of extractable toxin with incubation time was not related to microbial degradation but mainly to physicochemical interactions with the surfaces that may decrease immunochemical detectability or enhance protein fixation. Hydrophobic interactions may play an important role in determining the interaction of the toxin with surfaces. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : pollution du sol; pollution par l'agriculture; plante transgénique; biodégradation; dégradation; inhibition; propriété physicochimique du sol; pesticide microbien; persistance des pesticides; protéine microbienne; toxine bactérienne; bacillus thuringiensis; royaume-uni; france

Thématique : Pollution; Biologie du sol; Chimie et physique du sol; Ravageurs des plantes

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