An insecticidal protein from Xenorhabdus ehlersii triggers prophenoloxidase activation and hemocyte decrease in Galleria mellonella

Huaixing Shi, Hongmei Zeng, Xiufen Yang, Jing Zhao, Mingjia Chen, Dewen Qiu
Current Microbiology 2012, 64 (6): 604-10
The bacteria Xenorhabdus spp. are entomopathogenic symbionts that can produce several toxic proteins that interfere the immune system of insects. We purified an insecticidal protein from Xenorhabdus ehlersii, and designated it as XeGroEL with an estimated molecular mass of ~58 kDa. Galleria mellonella larva injected with XeGroEL presented prophenoloxidase activation and hemocyte decrease. XeGroEL can kill G. mellonella larva in 48 h with an LD(50) of 0.76 ± 0.08 μg/larva. Our results demonstrate that X. ehlersii possesses a toxic XeGroEL protein acting as a potential factor to activate proPO in host insect, which also provides a meaningful hypothesis to understand the interaction between nematode-symbiotic bacteria and host.

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