Vurtice Albright from Iowa State University's Department of Entomology will be defending his thesis as a part of the spring semester seminar series. This Ph.D. defense seminar will be located in E164 Lagomarcino Hall.
Abstract. Use of transgenic crops expressing genes for the production of insecticidal crystalline (Cry) proteins continues to increase; however, concerns that these proteins may have adverse effects on non-target organisms persist. Accurate detection of these proteins in various environmental matrices is essential for determining estimated environmental concentrations to be used in environmental exposure assessments. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) have been widely used for monitoring of Cry proteins in the environment because they are relatively quick to perform and cost less than other test methods. However, their results are not typically validated biologically to ensure that only bioactive Cry proteins are detected. Therefore, accurate concentrations of the bioactive protein may not be properly represented in environmental exposure assessments. This could potentially lead to overly conservative risk assessments and unnecessary regulation. Thus, standardized methods of detection that are biologically validated are needed for the environmental monitoring of Cry proteins. In order to improve this method of detection for Cry proteins in environmental matrices, research was performed to improve biological validation of ELISAs. Several laboratory model systems were screened for their capability to generate fragments of Cry1Ab. Fragments generated were then tested with ELISAs and bioassays to determine if the fragments were still detectable by ELISAs and if any bioactivity was retained.