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      Long Lasting Persistence of Bacillus thuringiensis Subsp. israelensis ( Bti) in Mosquito Natural Habitats

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          Abstract

          Background

          The detrimental effects of chemical insecticides on the environment and human health have lead to the call for biological alternatives. Today, one of the most promising solutions is the use of spray formulations based on Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis ( Bti) in insect control programs. As a result, the amounts of Bti spread in the environment are expected to increase worldwide, whilst the common belief that commercial Bti is easily cleared from the ecosystem has not yet been clearly established.

          Methodology/Main Findings

          In this study, we aimed to determine the nature and origin of the high toxicity toward mosquito larvae found in decaying leaf litter collected in several natural mosquito breeding sites in the Rhône-Alpes region. From the toxic fraction of the leaf litter, we isolated B. cereus-like bacteria that were further characterized as B. thuringiensis subsp. israelensis using PCR amplification of specific toxin genes. Immunological analysis of these Bti strains showed that they belong to the H14 group. We finally used amplified length polymorphism (AFLP) markers to show that the strains isolated from the leaf litter were closely related to those present in the commercial insecticide used for field application, and differed from natural worldwide genotypes.

          Conclusions/Significance

          Our results raise the issue of the persistence, potential proliferation and environmental accumulation of human-spread Bti in natural mosquito habitats. Such Bti environmental persistence may lengthen the exposure time of insects to this bio-insecticide, thereby increasing the risk of resistance acquisition in target insects, and of a negative impact on non-target insects.

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          Most cited references61

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          AFLP: a new technique for DNA fingerprinting.

          A novel DNA fingerprinting technique called AFLP is described. The AFLP technique is based on the selective PCR amplification of restriction fragments from a total digest of genomic DNA. The technique involves three steps: (i) restriction of the DNA and ligation of oligonucleotide adapters, (ii) selective amplification of sets of restriction fragments, and (iii) gel analysis of the amplified fragments. PCR amplification of restriction fragments is achieved by using the adapter and restriction site sequence as target sites for primer annealing. The selective amplification is achieved by the use of primers that extend into the restriction fragments, amplifying only those fragments in which the primer extensions match the nucleotides flanking the restriction sites. Using this method, sets of restriction fragments may be visualized by PCR without knowledge of nucleotide sequence. The method allows the specific co-amplification of high numbers of restriction fragments. The number of fragments that can be analyzed simultaneously, however, is dependent on the resolution of the detection system. Typically 50-100 restriction fragments are amplified and detected on denaturing polyacrylamide gels. The AFLP technique provides a novel and very powerful DNA fingerprinting technique for DNAs of any origin or complexity.
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            How to track and assess genotyping errors in population genetics studies.

            Genotyping errors occur when the genotype determined after molecular analysis does not correspond to the real genotype of the individual under consideration. Virtually every genetic data set includes some erroneous genotypes, but genotyping errors remain a taboo subject in population genetics, even though they might greatly bias the final conclusions, especially for studies based on individual identification. Here, we consider four case studies representing a large variety of population genetics investigations differing in their sampling strategies (noninvasive or traditional), in the type of organism studied (plant or animal) and the molecular markers used [microsatellites or amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLPs)]. In these data sets, the estimated genotyping error rate ranges from 0.8% for microsatellite loci from bear tissues to 2.6% for AFLP loci from dwarf birch leaves. Main sources of errors were allelic dropouts for microsatellites and differences in peak intensities for AFLPs, but in both cases human factors were non-negligible error generators. Therefore, tracking genotyping errors and identifying their causes are necessary to clean up the data sets and validate the final results according to the precision required. In addition, we propose the outline of a protocol designed to limit and quantify genotyping errors at each step of the genotyping process. In particular, we recommend (i) several efficient precautions to prevent contaminations and technical artefacts; (ii) systematic use of blind samples and automation; (iii) experience and rigor for laboratory work and scoring; and (iv) systematic reporting of the error rate in population genetics studies.
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              Genotyping errors: causes, consequences and solutions.

              Although genotyping errors affect most data and can markedly influence the biological conclusions of a study, they are too often neglected. Errors have various causes, but their occurrence and effect can be limited by considering these causes in the production and analysis of the data. Procedures that have been developed for dealing with errors in linkage studies, forensic analyses and non-invasive genotyping should be applied more broadly to any genetic study. We propose a protocol for estimating error rates and recommend that these measures be systemically reported to attest the reliability of published genotyping studies.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: Editor
                Journal
                PLoS ONE
                plos
                plosone
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
                1932-6203
                2008
                20 October 2008
                : 3
                : 10
                : e3432
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Floralis-UJF Filiale, Gières, France
                [2 ]Laboratoire d'Ecologie Alpine (LECA), CNRS UMR 5553, Universite' Joseph Fourier, Grenoble, France
                Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics, India
                Author notes

                Conceived and designed the experiments: MT SR LD RAG JG. Performed the experiments: MT MP SR JG. Analyzed the data: MT MP SR LD JG. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: PR RAG. Wrote the paper: MT MP SR LD RAG JG. Provided laboratory space for the work, and financial support: PR.

                Article
                08-PONE-RA-05290R1
                10.1371/journal.pone.0003432
                2563433
                18941501
                75348635-2b0b-41fd-b192-e7362c967910
                Tilquin et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
                History
                : 24 June 2008
                : 12 September 2008
                Page count
                Pages: 10
                Categories
                Research Article
                Biotechnology/Environmental Microbiology
                Ecology/Environmental Microbiology
                Genetics and Genomics/Population Genetics
                Microbiology/Applied Microbiology
                Microbiology/Microbial Evolution and Genomics

                Uncategorized
                Uncategorized

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