Main content area

RNAi-mediated gene silencing in Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Oliver) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae)

Laudani, Francesca, Strano, Cinzia P., Edwards, Martin G., Malacrinò, Antonino, Campolo, Orlando, Abd El Halim, Hesham M., Gatehouse, Angharad M. R., Palmeri, Vincenzo
Open life sciences 2017 v.12 no.1 pp. 214-222
H-transporting ATP synthase, RNA interference, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus, Tribolium castaneum, alpha-amylase, dose response, double-stranded RNA, ecdysone receptor, environmental impact, gene targeting, genes, ingestion, insects, models, mortality, pest control, pests
RNA interference (RNAi) is a powerful strategy for gene function analysis, and it is also widely studied in view of a promising use in pest control. The red palm weevil, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Oliver) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), is one of the most devastating pests of palm in the world. Conventional pest management practices are not adequate to control this insect, thus the development of efficient approaches with minimal environmental impact are needed. In this work, the potential of RNAi in R. ferrugineus has been investigated through the silencing of three different genes (α-amylase, V-ATPase, Ecdysone receptor). For each gene we tested two different doses (1,500 and 5,500 ng) and two delivery techniques (injection and ingestion), evaluating both gene knockdown and mortality on insects. Results show that RNAi mediated gene silencing in R. ferrugineus varies from gene to gene, and that the response is dose-dependent, with stronger effects when dsRNA was administered by injection. In parallel, the same study was carried out with the model organism Tribolium castaneum Herbst (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae), with results showing a different pattern of response, although the two insects belong to the same order.