Gene Silencing Using RNAi for Bark Beetle Management

Grants and Contracts Details


Abstract RNAi - bark beetles We're developing techniques to utilize gene silencing as a pest management approach against wood- boring Coleopterans, including southern pine beetle. RNA interference, or RNAi, is a natural gene silencing mechanism that is a component of the immune response within a cell. We can manipulate that immune response by introducing specific double stranded RNAs (dsRNAs) to target specific genes for silencing (Zhao et al. 2015, Rodrigues et al. This interference may manifest itself in compromised development, reduced fecundity, or direct mortality. Up to 85% mortality of adult SPB occurs following ingestion of SPB-specific dsRNAs targeting essential genes, and preliminary data demonstrates successful gene silencing in mountain pine beetle (unpubl. data), suggesting that inducing mortality may be possible. Determining the optimal target gene for SPB, demonstrating mortality in MPB, and demonstrating their specificity by evaluating non-target organisms, is the focus of this proposal and an essential for implementation of RNAi as a feasible management approach for these forest pests.
Effective start/end date7/1/206/30/22


  • Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service: $153,173.00


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