Table of Contents
ISRN Microbiology
Volume 2014, Article ID 135675, 12 pages
Review Article

Mode of Action and Specificity of Bacillus thuringiensis Toxins in the Control of Caterpillars and Stink Bugs in Soybean Culture

Programa de Pós-Graduação em Biologia—Laboratório de Microbiologia e Toxicologia, Centro de Ciências da Saúde, Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos, Avenida Unisinos, 950, 93022-000 São Leopoldo, RS, Brazil

Received 23 September 2013; Accepted 26 November 2013; Published 20 January 2014

Academic Editors: A. Hamood and A. Netrusov

Copyright © 2014 Rogério Schünemann et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) produces delta-endotoxins that possess toxic properties and can be used as biopesticides, as well as a source of genes for the construction of transgenic plants resistant to insects. In Brazil, the introduction of Bt soybean with insecticidal properties to the velvetbean caterpillar, the main insect pest of soybean, has been seen a promising tool in the management of these agroecosystems. However, the increase in stink bug populations in this culture, in various regions of the country, which are not susceptible to the existing genetically modified plants, requires application of chemicals that damage the environment. Little is known about the actual toxicity of Bt to Hemiptera, since these insects present sucking mouthparts, which hamper toxicity assays with artificial diets containing toxins of this bacterium. In recent studies of cytotoxicity with the gut of different hemipterans, susceptibility in the mechanism of action of delta-endotoxins has been demonstrated, which can generate promising subsidies for the control of these insect pests in soybean. This paper aims to review the studies related to the selection, application and mode of action of Bt in the biological control of the major pest of soybean, Anticarsia gemmatalis, and an analysis of advances in research on the use of Bt for control hemipterans.