Structural analysis of receptors for insecticidal toxins
Insecticidal toxins produced by bacteria such as Bacillus thuringiensis and Lysinibacillus sphaericus are the active agents in these important biological pesticides and can also be exploited in the production of insect-resistant transgenic plants.
The structures of an increasing number of toxins are becoming available and several toxin receptors have been identified. However, the molecular basis of toxin-receptor interactions that determine specificity is not well understood. To date, no structures are available for toxin receptors. This project will express receptor proteins in recombinant form and analyse their structures in order to enhance our understanding of these proteins and to enhance our ability to model toxin-receptor interactions.