Entomology, Department of


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Basnet, S. and S. T. Kamble. 2017. Knockdown of the chromatin remodeling gene brahma by RNA interference reduces reproductive fitness and lifespan in Common Bed Bug (Hemiptera: Cimicidae). J. Med. Entomol. tjx234, https://doi.org/10.1093/tjx234


This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.


The common bed bug, Cimex lectularius L. (Hemiptera: Cimicidae) is a nuisance household pest causing significant medical and economic impacts. RNA interference (RNAi) of genes that are involved in vital physiological processes can serve as potential RNAi targets for insect control. Brahma is an ATPase subunit of a chromatin-remodeling complex involved in transcription of several genes for cellular processes, most importantly the homeotic genes. In this study, we used a microinjection technique to deliver double stranded RNA into female bed bugs. Delivery of 0.05 and 0.5 μg/insect of brahma dsRNA directly into hemocele resulted substantial reduction in oviposition. Eggs laid by bed bugs receiving both doses of brahma dsRNA exhibited significantly lower hatching percentage as compared to controls. In addition, brahma RNAi in female bed bugs caused significant mortality. Our results disclosed the potential of brahma RNAi to suppress bed bug population through injection of specific dsRNA, suggesting a critical function of this gene in bed bugs’ reproduction and survival. Based on our data, brahma can be a promising RNAi target for suppression of bed bug population.

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