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    • Keywords

       

      𝛼-tubulin; Bemisia tabaci; RNAi; ribosomal protein L9; V-ATPase

    • Abstract

       

      RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated gene silencing was explored for the control of sap-sucking pest Bemisia tabaci, commonly known as whitefly. dsRNAs and siRNAs were synthesized from five different genes – actin ortholog, ADP/ATP translocase, 𝛼-tubulin, ribosomal protein L9 (RPL9) and V-ATPase A subunit. A simplified insect bioassay method was developed for the delivery of ds/siRNA through the oral route, and efficacy was evaluated. ds/siRNA caused 29–97% mortality after 6 days of feeding. Each insect ingested nearly 150 nl of insect diet per day, which contained a maximum of 6 ng of RNA. Knocking down the expression of RPL9 and V-ATPase A caused higher mortality with LC50 11.21 and 3.08 𝜇g/ml, respectively, as compared to other genes. Semi-quantitative PCR of the treated insects showed significant decrease in the level of RPL9 and V-ATPase A transcripts. siRNAs were found stable in the insect diet for at least 7 days at the room temperature. Phloem-specific expression of dsRNAs of RPL9 and V-ATPase A in transgenic plants for the protection against whiteflies might be an interesting application of this technology.

    • Author Affiliations

       

      Santosh Kumar Upadhyay1 K Chandrashekar1 Nidhi Thakur1 Praveen Chandra Verma1 J Francis Borgio2 Pradhyumna Kumar1 Rakesh Tuli3

      1. National Botanical Research Institute (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research), Rana Pratap Marg, Lucknow 226 001, India
      2. Department of Microbiology, St. Joseph’s College, Bangalore 560 027, India
      3. National Agri-Food Biotechnology Institute (Department of Biotechnology), C-127, Phase VIII, Industrial Area, SAS Nagar, Mohali 160 071, India
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