Article thumbnail

Potential Use of a Serpin from Arabidopsis for Pest Control

By Fernando Alvarez-Alfageme, Jafar Maharramov, Laura Carrillo, Steven Vandenabeele, Dominique Vercammen, Frank Van Breusegem and Guy Smagghe


Although genetically modified (GM) plants expressing toxins from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) protect agricultural crops against lepidopteran and coleopteran pests, field-evolved resistance to Bt toxins has been reported for populations of several lepidopteran species. Moreover, some important agricultural pests, like phloem-feeding insects, are not susceptible to Bt crops. Complementary pest control strategies are therefore necessary to assure that the benefits provided by those insect-resistant transgenic plants are not compromised and to target those pests that are not susceptible. Experimental GM plants producing plant protease inhibitors have been shown to confer resistance against a wide range of agricultural pests. In this study we assessed the potential of AtSerpin1, a serpin from Arabidopsis thaliana (L). Heynh., for pest control. In vitro assays were conducted with a wide range of pests that rely mainly on either serine or cysteine proteases for digestion and also with three non-target organisms occurring in agricultural crops. AtSerpin1 inhibited proteases from all pest and non-target species assayed. Subsequently, the cotton leafworm Spodoptera littoralis Boisduval and the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum (Harris) were fed on artificial diets containing AtSerpin1, and S. littoralis was also fed on transgenic Arabidopsis plants overproducing AtSerpin1. AtSerpin1 supplied in the artificial diet or by transgenic plants reduced the growth of S. littoralis larvae by 65% and 38%, respectively, relative to controls. Nymphs of A. pisum exposed to diets containing AtSerpin1 suffered high mortality levels (LC50 = 637 µg ml−1). The results indicate that AtSerpin1 is a good candidate for exploitation in pest control

Topics: Research Article
Publisher: Public Library of Science
OAI identifier:
Provided by: PubMed Central

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.

Suggested articles


  1. (2003a) Effects of the cysteine protease inhibitor oryzacystatin (OC-I) on different aphids and reduced performance of Myzus persicae on OC-I expressing transgenic oilseed rape.
  2. (2011a) A barley cysteine proteinase inhibitor reduces the performance of two aphid species in artificial diets and transgenic Arabidopsis plants.
  3. (2011b) Expression of a barley cystatin gene in maize enhances resistance against phytophagous mites by altering their cysteine-proteases.
  4. (1925). A method of computing the effectiveness of an insecticide.
  5. (1976). A rapid and sensitive method for the quantitation of microgram quantities of protein utilizing the principle of protein-dye binding.
  6. (1996). A recombinant wheat serpin with inhibitory activity.
  7. (2000). Adaptation of Spodoptera exigua (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) to barley trypsin inhibitor BTI-CMe expressed in transgenic tobacco.
  8. (2003). Advances in plant biotechnology and its adoption in developing countries.
  9. (2010). Arabidopsis AtSerpin1, crystal structure and in vivo interaction with its target protease RESPONSIVE TO DESSICATION-21 (RD21).
  10. (2008). Beyond Bt: Alternative strategies for insect-resistant genetically modified crops. In: Integration of insectresistant genetically modified crops within IPM
  11. (2008). Biotechnological prospects for engineering insect-resistant plants.
  12. (2008). Carbohydrate-binding activity of type-2 ribosome-inactivating protein SNA-I from elderberry (Sambucus nigra) is a determine factor for its insecticidal activity.
  13. (2010). Characterisation of adult green lacewing (Chrysoperla carnea) digestive physiology: impact of a cysteine protease inhibitor and a pyrethroid.
  14. (1997). Characterization and distribution of chymotrypsin-like and other digestive proteases in Colorado potato beetle larvae.
  15. (1996). Characterization and distribution of digestive proteases of the stalk corn borer, Sesamia nonagrioides Lef.
  16. (2004). Cloning and characterization of a gut-specific cathepsin L from the aphid Aphis gossypii.
  17. (2010). Coexpression of potato type I and II proteinase inhibitors gives cotton plants protection against insect damage in the field.
  18. (2006). Crop losses to pests.
  19. (1987). Cysteine digestive proteinases in Coleoptera.
  20. (2002). Depicker A
  21. (2007). DNA accelerates the inhibition of human cathepsin V by serpins.
  22. (2006). Effect of eggplant transformed with oryzacystatin gene on Myzus persicae and Macrosiphum euphorbiae.
  23. (2001). Effects of a mustard trypsin inhibitor expressed in different plants on three Lepidopteran pests.
  24. (2005). Effects of Bt maize expressing Cry1Ab and Bt spray on Spodoptera littoralis.
  25. (2000). Effects of four protease inhibitors on the survival of worker bumblebees,
  26. (2005). Effects of plant protease inhibitors, oryzacystatin I and soybean Bowman-Birk inhibitor, on the aphid Macrosiphum euphorbiae (Homoptera, Aphididae) and its parasitoid Aphelinus abdominalis (Hymenoptera,
  27. (2007). Effects of potato plants expressing a barley cystatin on the predatory bug Podisus maculiventris via herbivorous prey feeding on the plant.
  28. (1995). Endoproteases from the midgut of larval Spodoptera littoralis include a chymotrypsin like enzyme with an extended binding site.
  29. (2010). Evolutionary ecology of insect adaptation to Bt crops.
  30. (1997). Field and laboratory evaluation of transgenic Bacillus thuringiensis corn on secondary Lepidopteran pests (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae).
  31. (1998). Floral dip: a simplified method for Agrobacteriummediated transformation of Arabidopsis thaliana.
  32. (2010). Global status of commercialized biotech/GM Crops:
  33. (2005). GM crops: the global economic and environmental impact: the first nine years 1996–2004. Ag Bio Forum 8:
  34. (1996). Heterologous expression of three plant serpins with distinct inhibitory specificities.
  35. (1968). Isolation and characterization of the digestive proteinases in the earthworm Lumbricus terrestris Linnaeus.
  36. (2008). Large gene family expansion and variable selective pressures for cathepsin B in aphids.
  37. (2004). MEROPS: the peptidase database.
  38. (2003). Midgut adaptation and digestive enzyme distribution in a phloem feeding insect, the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum.
  39. (1998). Opposite effects on Spodoptera littoralis larvae of high expression level of a trypsin proteinase inhibitor in transgenic plants.
  40. (2006). Phloem sap proteins: their identities and potential roles in the interaction between plants and phloem-feeding insects.
  41. (2002). Plant toxic proteins with insecticidal properties. A review on their potentialities as bioinsecticides.
  42. (2004). Plant-insect interactions: molecular approaches to insect resistance.
  43. Quillien L (2003b) Toxicity to the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum of anti-chymotrypsin of anti-chymotrypsin isoforms and fragments of Bowman-Birk protease inhibitors from pea seeds.
  44. (2006). Recent developments and future prospects in insect pest control in transgenic crops.
  45. (2010). recombinant protease inhibitors for hervibore pest control: a multitrophic perspective.
  46. (2006). Serpin 1 of Arabidopsis thaliana is a suicide inhibitor for metacaspase 9.
  47. (2002). Serpin structure, mechanism, and function.
  48. (2008). Serpins in plants and green algae.
  49. (2006). Shape-shifting serpins- advantages of a mobile mechanism.
  50. (2000). Soybean Kunitz, C-II and PI–IV inhibitor genes confer different levels of insect resistance to tobacco and potato transgenic plants.
  51. (1972). The evolution of endopeptidases-XIV. Non-tryptic cleavage specificity of a baee-hydrolyzing enzyme (b-protease) from Tenebrio molitor.
  52. (1998). The reactive site loop of the serpin SCCA1 is essential for cysteine proteinase inhibition. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 95: 13465–70. Potential Use of a Serpin for Pest Control PLoS
  53. (2002). The serpin SON-5 is a dual mechanistic class inhibitor of serine and cysteine proteinases.
  54. (2007). The Spn4 gene from Drosophila melanogaster is a multipurpose defence tool directed against proteases from different peptidase families.
  55. (2006). Transgenic plants for insect pest control: a forward looking scientific perspective.
  56. (2002). Transgenic potatoes with enhanced levels of nematode resistance do not have altered susceptibility to nontarget aphids.