The broadly insecticidal Photorhabdus luminescens toxin complex a (Tca): activity against the Colorado potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata, and sweet potato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci

J Insect Sci. 2005 Nov 11;5:32. doi: 10.1093/jis/5.1.32.


Toxin complex a (Tca), a high molecular weight insecticidal protein complex produced by the entomopathogenic bacterium Photorhabdus luminescens, has been found to be orally toxic to both the Colorado potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata, and the sweet potato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci biotype B. The 48 hour LC50 for Tca against neonate L. decemlineata was found to be 2.7 ppm, and the growth of 2nd instar L. decemlineata exposed to Tca for 72 hours was almost entirely inhibited at concentrations above 0.5 ppm. B. tabaci was highly susceptible to Tca as well; newly emerged nymphs that were artificially fed Tca developed poorly, or not at all. Tca concentrations between 0.1 and 0.2 ppm reduced the number of nymphs reaching the second instar by 50%. In addition, a preparation of Tca missing two prominent subunits, TcaAii and TcaAiii, was found to be at least as toxic to L. decemlineata and B. tabaci as Tca itself, indicating that the activity of Tca is not dependant on the presence of these subunits at the time of ingestion.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Toxins / pharmacology*
  • Coleoptera / drug effects*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Hemiptera / drug effects*
  • Insecticides / metabolism
  • Insecticides / pharmacology*
  • Larva / drug effects
  • Lethal Dose 50
  • Nymph / drug effects
  • Photorhabdus / metabolism*
  • Protein Subunits
  • Time Factors


  • Bacterial Toxins
  • Insecticides
  • Protein Subunits