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Genetic element (GENE)
last updated: 27 Feb 2014
Protein coding sequence
Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. kumamotoensis; strain EG4691
The cry3Bb1 gene, isolated from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) subspecies kumamotoensis, produces the insect control protein Cry3Bb1, a delta-endotoxin. The Cry3Bb1 protein provides protection against the western corn rootworm (Diabrotica vigifera) and northern corn rootworm (Diabrotica barberi).
Cry proteins, of which Cry3Bb1 is only one, act by selectively binding to specific sites localized on the lining of the midgut of susceptible insect species. Following binding, pores are formed that disrupt midgut ion flow, causing gut paralysis and eventual death due to bacterial sepsis. Cry3Bb1 is lethal only when eaten by the larvae of coleopteran insects (i.e., beetles), and its specificity of action is directly attributable to the presence of specific binding sites in the target insects.