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Question 4

What are Cry proteins? Name an organism that produces it. How has man exploited this protein to his benefit?

Answer

Cry proteins are encoded by cry genes. These proteins are toxins, which are produced by Bacillus thuringiensis bacteria. This bacterium contains these proteins in their inactive from. When the inactive toxin protein is ingested by the insect, it gets activated by the alkaline pH of the gut. This results in the lysis of epithelial cell and eventually the death of the insect. Therefore, man has exploited this protein to develop certain transgenic crops with insect resistance such as Bt cotton, Bt corn, etc.

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