Entomology, Department of


Document Type


Date of this Version



Frontiers in Plant Science April 2020, Volume 11, Article 451


Copyright © 2020 Christiaens, Whyard, Vélez and Smagghe.


Exploiting the RNA interference (RNAi) gene mechanism to silence essential genes in pest insects, leading to toxic effects, has surfaced as a promising new control strategy in the past decade. While the first commercial RNAi-based products are currently coming to market, the application against a wide range of insect species is still hindered by a number of challenges. In this review, we discuss the current status of these RNAi- based products and the different delivery strategies by which insects can be targeted by the RNAi-triggering double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) molecules. Furthermore, this review also addresses a number of physiological and cellular barriers, which can lead to decreased RNAi efficacy in insects. Finally, novel non-transgenic delivery technologies, such as polymer or liposomic nanoparticles, peptide-based delivery vehicles and viral- like particles, are also discussed, as these could overcome these barriers and lead to effective RNAi-based pest control.

Included in

Entomology Commons