Use of RNAi for Control of Insect Crop Pests
RNA interference (RNAi) refers to double-stranded RNA (dsRNA)-mediated gene silencing. Since its discovery, it has developed as a powerful tool in functional genomics, and to date it is widely used in insect genetic research. It is certain that the discovery of RNAi has augmented our understanding of ~20–30 nucleotide non-coding small RNA as critical regulators of gene expression and genome stability. Besides, gene silencing through RNAi has revolutionized the study of gene function, particularly in non-model and non-genome sequenced insect species, which is the case for most agricultural pest insects. Without doubt, it contains great potential for diverse applications in fundamental and applied research, for instance in gene therapy in medicine and disease control. More recent, a new hot point is to find a feasible way to use RNAi as an alternative method for practical application of crop protection to combat pest insects.
KeywordsInsecticide Resistance Midgut Epithelium Boll Weevil Lepidopteran Insect RNAi Machinery
The authors acknowledge support for their research by the Fund for Scientific Research-Flanders (FWO-Vlaanderen), the Flemish agency for Innovation by Science and Technology (IWT-Vlaanderen), the Special Research Funds of Ghent University, in Belgium, and the General Secretariat for Research and Technology, Hellenic Republic Ministry of National Education and Religious Affairs, in Greece. Luc Swevers acknowledges the support with a scholarship for foreign researcher by the Special Research Fund of Ghent University.
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