Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Genetic Knockouts Indicate That the ABCC2 Gene in the Bollworm Helicoverpa Zea Is Not a Major Receptor for the Cry1Ac Insecticidal Protein.

Version 1 : Received: 1 September 2021 / Approved: 3 September 2021 / Online: 3 September 2021 (08:19:44 CEST)

How to cite: Perera, O.P.; LIttle, N.S.; Abdelgaffar, H.; Jurat-Fuentes, J.L.; Reddy, G.V.P. Genetic Knockouts Indicate That the ABCC2 Gene in the Bollworm Helicoverpa Zea Is Not a Major Receptor for the Cry1Ac Insecticidal Protein.. Preprints 2021, 2021090051 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202109.0051.v1). Perera, O.P.; LIttle, N.S.; Abdelgaffar, H.; Jurat-Fuentes, J.L.; Reddy, G.V.P. Genetic Knockouts Indicate That the ABCC2 Gene in the Bollworm Helicoverpa Zea Is Not a Major Receptor for the Cry1Ac Insecticidal Protein.. Preprints 2021, 2021090051 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202109.0051.v1).

Abstract

Members of the insect ATP binding cassette transporter subfamily C2 (ABCC2) in several moth species are known as receptors for the Cry1Ac insecticidal protein from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). Mutations that abolish the functional domains of ABCC2 are known to cause resistance to Cry1Ac, although the reported levels of resistance vary widely depending on insect species. In this study, the function of the ABCC2 gene as putative Cry1Ac receptor in Helicoverpa zea, a major pest of over 300 crops, was evaluated using CRISPR/Cas9 to progressively eliminate different functional ABCC2 domains. Results from bioassays with edited insect lines support that muta-tions in ABCC2 was associated with Cry1Ac resistance ratios (RR) ranging from 7.3- to 39.8-fold. No significant differences in susceptibility to Cry1Ac were detected between H. zea with partial or complete ABCC2 knockout, although highest levels of tolerance were observed when knocking out half of ABCC2. Based on >500-1,000-fold RRs reported in similar studies for closely related moth species, the low RRs observed in H. zea knockouts support that ABCC2 is not a major Cry1Ac receptor in this insect.

Keywords

Helicoverpa zea; Bollworm; CRISPR; Cry1A; Bt Toxin; Genome Editing; Knockout; Functional Genomics; Resistance

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