Bacillus Sphaericus: Mechanism and Application as a Mosquito Larvicide

  • Zhiming Yuan


Bacillus sphaericus is a ubiquitous, cosmopolitan, aerobic and sporeforming bacterium, with a terminal swelled sporangium and spherical spore. All strains have been grouped into 49 serotypes on the basis of the flagella agglutination. Most strains are non-entomopathogenic with only nine serotypes (H1, H2, H3, H5, H6, H9, H25, H26 and H48) exhibiting toxicity against mosquito larvae. The toxic strains produce two kinds of toxins. One is a binary toxin, synthesized and assembled as the crystal forms during sporulation. This kind of toxin is composed of 42 and 51 kDa active peptides, and both fragments are required for toxicity. The other kinds of toxins are mosquitocidal toxins (Mtx), which are produced during bacteria vegetative growth. It has been shown that the highly toxic strains are very toxic against Culex spp. followed by Anopheles spp., but have no or low toxicity to Aedes spp. Strains of B. sphaericus offer distinct advantages compared to bacillus spp. Strains of B. sphaericus offer distinct advantages compared to Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis, having an increased duration of larvicidal activity against certain environments. In the last decades, B. sphaericus have been must successfully use as a larvicide in many parts of the World, and it is considered a promising agent for mosquito control, especially for Culex spp. in the suburbs of cities or small towns. This Chapter will focus on biological properties, host range and toxicity, mosquitocidal toxins and the encoding genes, genetically modification, production and field application of B. sphaericus, as well as the resistance problem in insects arose by the widely application of this bacterium.


Bacillus Thuringiensis Mosquito Larva Larvicidal Activity Mosquito Control Toxin Gene 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhiming Yuan
    • 1
  1. 1.Wuhan Institute of VirologyChinese Academy of SciencesWuhanChina

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