Entomology, Department of


Date of this Version



Genes 2017, 8, 7; doi:10.3390/genes8010007


© 2016 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license


Parental RNAi (pRNAi) is an RNA interference response where the gene knockdown phenotype is observed in the progeny of the treated organism. pRNAi has been demonstrated in female western corn rootworms (WCR) via diet applications and has been described as a potential approach for rootworm pest management. However, it is not clear if plant-expressed pRNAi can provide effective control of next generation WCR larvae in the field. In this study, we evaluated parameters required to generate a successful pRNAi response in WCR for the genes brahma and hunchback. The parameters tested included a concentration response, duration of the dsRNA exposure, timing of the dsRNA exposure with respect to the mating status in WCR females, and the effects of pRNAi on males. Results indicate that all of the above parameters affect the strength of pRNAi phenotype in females. Results are interpreted in terms of how this technology will perform in the field and the potential role for pRNAi in pest and resistance management strategies. More broadly, the described approaches enable examination of the dynamics of RNAi response in insects beyond pRNAi and crop pests.

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