Managing Crop Disease
with Bacillus Cereus
Bacillus cereus is a biocontrol
agent that was recently registered for use
as a biopesticide on cotton and other B.
cereus are under review as biocontrol
agents for crop diseases. Most strains of
produce a mammalian toxin associated with
food poisoning. Using a genetic knockout
Handelsman at the University of Wisconsin has
successfully removed the genes responsible
for the toxin and tested its performance
in the field.
As a result of this work, a safer bacterial
strain for can be used. Since the only remaining
barrier to registration of B. cereus strains
is their production of this harmful toxin,
this work will remove the final impediment
to providing access to farmers to an effective
biological agent for management of crop disease.
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