SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • RNA interference;
  • Lepidoptera;
  • dsRNA feeding;
  • carboxylesterase;
  • pheromone binding protein

Abstract

RNA interference (RNAi) or gene silencing is typically induced in insects by the injection of double-stranded RNAs (dsRNAs), short interfering RNAs, or through the use of hairpin constructs in transgenic insects. Here we demonstrate in the horticultural pest, Epiphyas postvittana (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), that RNAi can be triggered by oral delivery of dsRNA to larvae. Transcript levels of a larval gut carboxylesterase gene (EposCXE1) were reduced to less than half that of controls within 2 days of being fed EposCXE1 dsRNA. Transcript levels of the pheromone binding protein gene (EposPBP1) were reduced in adult antennae by feeding larvae EposPBP1 dsRNA. Knockdown of EposPBP1 transcripts was observed for the first 2 days after adult eclosion but recovered to wild-type levels at 4 days posteclosion. The potential mechanisms involved in the initiation, movement and amplification of the silencing signal are discussed.