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Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology
Vol. 104, No.
1, 2012; Pages: 65 - 71

Physiological effect of chitinase purified from Bacillus subtilis against the tobacco cutworm Spodoptera litura Fab

Rajamanickam Chandrasekaran, Kannan Revathi, Selvamathiazhagan Nisha, Suyambulingam Arunachalam Kirubakaran, Subbiah Sathish-Narayanan, Sengottayan Senthil-Nathan

Division of Biopesticides and Environmental Toxicology, Sri Paramakalyani Center for Excellence in Environmental Sciences (SPKCES), Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, Alwarkurichi 627 412, Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu, India.


An extracellular chitinase was purified from Bacillus subtilis. The lethal concentration (LC50) was determined by using chitinase in first, second, and third instars of Spodoptera litura Fab. Chitinase showed the highest insecticidal activity at 6 μM concentration within 48 h. The nutritional indices were also significantly affected by the 6 μM concentration (P < 0.05). Food consumption, efficiency of conversion of ingested and digested food, relative growth rate, and consumption values declined significantly while approximate digestibility was increased. Our study indicates that treatment of host plant leaves with the chitinase can regulate (reduce) larval growth and weight, and enhance the mortality. This may serve as an effective biocide and alternative to Bt toxin.

Keywords: Bacillus;  Chitinase; Enzyme; Molecular masses; Cutworm; Dietary utilization; Mortality



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