Oregon State University

Bt toxin

a pest-specific protein toxin produced by the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (different strains of B. thuringiensis produce different toxins specific to different pest species). Bt toxins have been used as pest control agents in organic agriculture for more than 50 years. These proteins can also be expressed in crop plants like cotton and corn. Bt crops can greatly reduce the application levels of broad-spectrum pesticides, and thus help maintain populations of beneficial insects, which are not harmed by the toxin. Bt crops often decrease yield losses that were previously tolerated.

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