The production of Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis (deBarjac) (Bti) as a biopesticide is not cost-effective using existing fermentation technology. In this study, we explored the use of several less expensive alternative culture media (potato, common sugar, and Bengal gram) for the growth and production of Bti. Growth was obtained in all tested media and was comparable to that obtained in conventional medium (Luria-Bertani). Toxicity assays showed that the toxin produced from the novel growth media were effective in killing larvae of Culex quinquefasciatus, Anopheles stephensi, and Aedes aegypti and toxicity was comparable to that produced from Luria-Bertani medium. These observations suggest that potato can be used as a cheap source of culture medium for the production of Bti toxin in mosquito control programs.
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Vol. 96 • No. 4