Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 103, Issue 4, pp 1617–1626 | Cite as

Expression of cry genes in Bacillus thuringiensis biotechnology

  • Qi Peng
  • Qingyue Yu
  • Fuping SongEmail author


Bacillus thuringiensis is a gram-positive, spore-forming bacterium that produces insecticidal crystal proteins during sporulation. The production of these crystals results primarily from the expression of cry genes. In this review, we focus on the expression and application of cry genes directed by both cry gene promoters and non-cry gene promoters in different hosts. However, not all cry genes and niches are compatible with B. thuringiensis. New delivery systems offsetting the current limitations in B. thuringiensis application are needed to improve Cry production, niche fitness, and persistence. This review examines currently available research and highlights areas in need of further research and development for more effective production and utilization of Cry insecticidal proteins.


cry gene promoters Non-cry gene promoters Bacterial insecticide Bacillus thuringiensis biotechnology 



This work was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation (31530095) and the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2017YFD0200400).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

No human or animal studies were performed for this review.


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory for Biology of Plant Diseases and Insect Pests, Institute of Plant ProtectionChinese Academy of Agricultural SciencesBeijingChina

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