A cis-acting mutation in the pxabcg1 promoter is associated with cry1ac resistance in plutella xylostella (l.)

Jianying Qin, Fan Ye, Linzheng Xu, Xuguo Zhou, Neil Crickmore, Xiaomao Zhou, Youjun Zhang, Zhaojiang Guo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The molecular mechanisms of insect resistance to Cry toxins generated from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) urgently need to be elucidated to enable the improvement and sustainability of Bt-based products. Although downregulation of the expression of midgut receptor genes is a pivotal mechanism of insect resistance to Bt Cry toxins, the underlying transcriptional regulation of these genes remains elusive. Herein, we unraveled the regulatory mechanism of the downreg-ulation of the ABC transporter gene PxABCG1 (also called Pxwhite), a functional midgut receptor of the Bt Cry1Ac toxin in Plutella xylostella. The PxABCG1 promoters of Cry1Ac-susceptible and Cry1Ac-resistant strains were cloned and analyzed, and they showed clear differences in activity. Subsequently, a dual-luciferase reporter assay, a yeast one-hybrid (Y1H) assay, and RNA interference (RNAi) experiments demonstrated that a cis-mutation in a binding site of the Hox transcription factor Antennapedia (Antp) decreased the promoter activity of the resistant strain and eliminated the binding and regulation of Antp, thereby enhancing the resistance of P. xylostella to the Cry1Ac toxin. These results advance our knowledge of the roles of cis-and trans-regulatory variations in the regulation of midgut Cry receptor genes and the evolution of Bt resistance, contributing to a more complete understanding of the Bt resistance mechanism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6106
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 1 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • ABCG1
  • Antp
  • Bacillus thuringiensis
  • Cis-mutation
  • Cry1Ac resistance
  • Plutella xylostella

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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