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Beyond insects: current status and achievements of RNA interference in mite pests and future perspectives

Niu, Jinzhi, Shen, Guangmao, Christiaens, Olivier, Smagghe, Guy, He, Lin, Wang, Jinjun
Pest management science 2018 v.74 no.12 pp. 2680-2687
RNA interference, Varroa, control methods, crops, defense mechanisms, double-stranded RNA, evolution, insect pests, microorganisms, mite control, pathogens, pesticide resistance, predatory mites
Mites comprise a group of key agricultural pests on a wide range of crops. They cause harm through feeding on the plant and transferring dangerous pathogens, and the rapid evolution of pesticide resistance in mites highlights the need for novel control methods. Currently, RNA interference (RNAi) shows great potential for insect pest control. Here, we review the literature regarding RNAi in mite pests. We discuss different target genes and RNAi efficiency in various mite species, a promising Varroa control program using RNAi, the synergy of RNAi with plant defense mechanisms and microorganisms, and current understanding of systemic movement of double‐stranded RNA (dsRNA). On the basis of this evidence, we can conclude that there is clear potential for application of RNAi‐based mite control, but further research on several aspects of RNAi in mites is needed, including: (i) the factors influencing RNAi efficiency, (ii) the mechanism of environmental RNAi and cross‐kingdom dsRNA trafficking, (iii) the mechanism of possible systemic and parental RNAi, and (iv) non‐target effects, specifically in predatory mites, which should be considered during RNAi target selection. © 2018 Society of Chemical Industry