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Biochemistry Department - Primary Faculty

Marianne Pusztai-Carey, Ph.D.

Associate Professor


  • Ph.D.: The University of Debrecen, School of Medicine, Department of Biochemistry, Debrecen, Hungary
  • Postdoc:
    • The University of Debrecen, School of Medicine, Department of Biochemistry, Debrecen, Hungary
    • Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology, New York, NY

Research Interests

Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is a soil bacterium which produces proteinaceous inclusion bodies during sporulation. The inclusion bodies contain genetically encoded insecticidal proteins with very narrow insect specificity. Dipteran Bt toxins control mosquitoes and blackflies, lepidopteran toxins protect forest and crops from caterpillars of moths, while coleopterans kill beetles. Bt has been used for insect control over 60 years without any negative health effect on humans, animals, birds or non-target insects. Recent advances made possible to place the Bt genes in plants. The transgenic Bts express the insecticidal proteins providing self protection to the plants against mostly lepidopteran insects. The mechanism of the bioactivity is largely known, but lots of details are yet to be described. My projects are involved 1/ in studies to fine tune the understanding of the mechanism of the dipteran Bts 2/ in collaboration with entomologists develop and maintain insect resistance under laboratory conditions to study the mechanism, in an effort to preempt the impact of possible field resistance 3/ working on the eradication of hunger in India via participating in the registration process of Bt transgenic crops as participant of an international consortium.

Selected References

  • Anilkumar KJ, Pusztai-Carey M, and Moar WJ
    “Fitness costs associated with Cry1Ac-resistant Helicoverpa zea (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae): a factor countering selection for resistance to Bt cotton?”
    Journal of Economic Entomology 101(4):1421-31, (2008)
  • Crespo, AL. B., Spencer T A., Nekl E, Pusztai-Carey, M., Moar W.J., and Siegfried B.D.
    “Comparison and Validation of Methods to Quantify Cry1Ab Toxin from Bacillus thuringiensis for Standardization of Insect Bioassays”
    Applied and Environmental Microbiology 74(1), 130-135 (2008)
  • Anilkumar, K.J., Rodrigo-Sim\xF3n, A., Ferr\xE9, J., Pusztai-Carey, M. Sivasupramaniam, S. and Moar W. J.
    “Production and Characterization of Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ac-Resistant Cotton Bollworm Helicoverpa zea (Boddie)”
    Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 74: 462-469 (2008)
  • Totir, M.A., Helfand, M., Carey, M.P. Sheri, A., Buynak, J., Bonomo, R. A. and Carey, P.R.
    “Sulbactam forms only minimal Amounts of irreversible acrylate-enzyme with SHV-1 ?-lactamase”
    Biochemistry 46(31):8980-7 (2007)
  • Manceva, S. D., Pusztai-Carey, M., Butko P.
    “Effect of pH and ionic strength on the cytolitic toxin CytA: a fluorescence spectroscopy study”
    Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1699, 123-130 (2004)
  • Hall, P. R., Zheng, R., Antony, L., Pusztai-Carey, M., Carey, P. R. and Yee, V. C.
    “Transcarboxylase 5S structures: assembly and catalytic mechanism of a multienzyme complex subunit”
    EMBO J. 23, 3621-3631 (2004)


Marianne Pusztai-Carey Faculty's publications at pubmed