Scientists from Jilin Agricultural University, China and University of
Camerino, Italy, tested if cry8-like from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) can be
introduced to soybeans to confer resistance to dark black chafer
(Holotrichia parallela), a destructive pest of soybeans. The results are
published in BMC Biotechnology.
Analysis showed that cry8-like was most highly expressed in soybean leaves.
The transgenic lines and non-transgenic plants were fed to dark black
chafer. Under pest feeding stress, the survival rates of non-transgenic
plants were 92 percent lower than the transgenic plants. The mortality rate
of the pest increased when the larvae were fed with roots of the transgenic
soybean plants. The surviving larvae manifested deformities and inhibited
The results suggest that transgenic soybean plants expressing the cry8-like
genes are more resistant to the pest, indicating that cry8-like gene may be
a potential tool in developing soybean plants with better pest resistance.