Effects of bioinsecticidal aegerolysin-based cytolytic complexes on non-target organisms

Panevska A, Glavan G, Jemec Kokalj A, Kukuljan V, Trobec T, Žužek MC, Vrecl M, Drobne D, Frangež R, Sepčić K
[ site ] Toxins, 2021

Aegerolysin proteins ostreolysin A6 (OlyA6), pleurotolysin A2 (PlyA2) and erylysin A (EryA) produced by the mushroom genus Pleurotus bind strongly to an invertebrate-specific membrane sphingolipid, and together with a protein partner pleurotolysin B (PlyB), form transmembrane pore complexes. This pore formation is the basis for the selective insecticidal activity of aegerolysin/PlyB complexes against two economically important coleopteran pests: the Colorado potato beetle and the western corn rootworm. In this study, we evaluated the toxicities of these aegerolysin/PlyB complexes using feeding tests with two ecologically important non-target arthropod species: the woodlouse and the honey bee. The mammalian toxicity of the EryA/PlyB complex was also evaluated after intravenous administration to mice. None of the aegerolysin/PlyB complexes were toxic against woodlice, but OlyA6/PlyB and PlyA2/PlyB were toxic to honeybees, with 48 h mean lethal concentrations (LC50) of 0.22 and 0.39 mg/mL, respectively, in their food. EryA/PlyB was also tested intravenously in mice up to 3 mg/kg body mass, without showing toxicity. With no toxicity seen for EryA/PlyB for environmentally beneficial arthropods and mammals at the tested concentrations, these EryA/PlyB complexes are of particular interest for development of new bioinsecticides for control of selected coleopteran pests