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Silencing Taiman impairs larval development in Leptinotarsa decemlineata

Xu, Qing-Yu, Deng, Pan, Mu, Li-Li, Fu, Kai-Yun, Guo, Wen-Chao, Li, Guo-Qing
Pesticide biochemistry and physiology 2019 v.160 pp. 30-39
Leptinotarsa decemlineata, RNA interference, chitin, death, double-stranded RNA, ecdysterone, genes, homeostasis, insecticide resistance, instars, juvenile hormones, larvae, larval development, leaves, metabolism, mortality, nutrient uptake, potatoes, pupation, transcription factors, trehalose
An exploration of novel control strategies for Leptinotarsa decemlineata is becoming more pressing given rapid evolution of insecticide resistance and rise of production loss of potato. Dietary delivery of bacterially expressed double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) is a promising alternative for management. An important first step is to uncover possible RNA-interference (RNAi)-target genes effective against both young and old larvae. Taiman (Tai) is a basic-helix-loop-helix/Per-Arnt-Sim transcription factor that is involved in the mediation of both juvenile hormone (JH) and 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E) signaling. In the present paper, we found that continuous ingestion of dsTai for three days by third (penultimate)-instar larvae caused approximately 20% larval mortality and 80% pupation failure. The larval lethality resulted from failed cuticle and tracheae shedding, which subsequently reduced foliage consumption and nutrient absorption, and depleted lipid stores. In contrast, pupation failure derived from disturbed JH and 20E signals, and disordered nutrient homeostasis including, among others, inhibition of trehalose metabolism and reduction of chitin content. Knockdown of LdTai caused similar larval lethality and pupation impairment in second and fourth (final) larval instars. Therefore, LdTai is among the most attractive candidate genes for RNAi to control L. decemlineata larvae.