Bacillus thuringiensis and its application in agriculture
Presently, a number of approaches to pest control via genetic engineering have been developed and genetically engineered crops expressing insecticidal characteristics are under cultivation for the last 15 years. Use of Bacillus thuringiensis genes encoding o̅ endotoxins with insecticidal characteristics is the major approach and a number of such B. thuringiensis genes have been expressed in crops with variable level of efficiency. It is very crucial to achieve adequate level of B. thuringiensis gene expression to have durable resistance against target insect pests. As with many aspects of genetic engineering, politics can impact on the success of a project involving the development of B. thuringiensis transgenic crops, irrespective of its apparent social, economic or environmental benefits. Public education will be essential to ensure the widespread adoption of genetic adoption technologies in agriculture, and scientists will have to play an active role in this process.