Plant defenses: Chlorogenic acid and polyphenol oxidase enhance toxicity of Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki to Heliothis zea

C. T. Ludlum, Gary W. Felton, Sean S. Duffey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations

Abstract

Two chemicals implicated in resistance of the tomato plant, chlorogenic acid and polyphenol oxidase, are known to form orthoquinones in damaged plant tissue. Orthoquinones have been reported to alkylate -NH2 and -SH groups of proteins and amino acids, altering solubility, digestibility, and, for some pathogenic viruses, infectivity. Here we explore effects of quinone alkylation on toxicity of an important microbial insecticide, Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki (BTk), to larval Heliothis zea. BTk incubated with these phytochemicals and fed to larvae was more toxic than untreated BTk. Similar but less dramatic results arose when BTk was incubated with polyphenol oxidase alone. Digestibility experiments suggest that alkylation enhanced the solubilization and/or proteolysis of crystal protein in vivo. Implications of our results for compatibility of BTk with host-plant resistance and biological control are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-237
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Chemical Ecology
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1991

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biochemistry

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