Cabbage is a major vegetable crop over the world. Various insect pests can affect cabbage production. Excessive spray of chemical insecticides can lead to the development of insecticide resistance with various adverse effects on the environment and humans. Brassica leaf beetle, Phaedon brassicae Baly, is a coleopteran pest. Both larvae and adults cause damages to cabbage. The objective of this study was to develop an effective microbial insecticide against P. brassicae by adding an immunosuppressive agent to Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). The immunosuppressive agent was chosen from bacterial cultured broth of Photorhabdus temperata subsp. temperata (Ptt). Reverse phase HPLC revealed that Ptt-cultured broth possessed at least two eicosanoid biosynthesis inhibitors (oxindole and indole) in its hexane extract. The bacterial cultured broth exhibited potent immunosuppressive activity against P. brassicae. Based on toxicity results, B. thuringiensis subsp. tenebrionis (BtT) was selected from four strains of Bts. When Ptt-cultured broth was added to spore-producing BtT cells, the insecticidal activities of BtT against both larvae and adults of P. brassicae were significantly increased. This bacterial mixture applied to develop a “Bt-Plus,” which was formulated by mixing BtT cells (1011 spores per ml) and 48-h Pttcultured broth along with additives (surfactant and preservative). When Bt-Plus was sprayed to cabbage infested by P. brassicae at 1,000-fold dilution, the mixture exhibited much higher control efficacy than BtT treatment alone, suggesting it could be used as a novel Bt insecticide for the control of P. brassicae.
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