8 Scopus citations


RNA interference is a promising crop protection technology that has seen rapid development in the past several years. Here, we investigated polyamino acid biopolymers, inorganic nanomaterials, and hybrid organic-inorganic nanomaterials for delivery of dsRNA and efficacy of gene knockdown using the model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Using an oral route of delivery, we are able to approximate how nanomaterials will be delivered in the environment. Of the materials investigated, only Mg-Al layered double-hydroxide nanoparticles were effective at gene knockdown in C. elegans, reducing marker gene expression to 66.8% of that of the control at the lowest tested concentration. In addition, we identified previously unreported injuries to the mouthparts of C. elegans associated with the use of a common cell-penetrating peptide, poly-l-arginine. Our results will allow the pursuit of further research into promising materials for dsRNA delivery and also allow for the exclusion of those with little efficacy or deleterious effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7926-7934
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number30
StatePublished - Jul 29 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2020 American Chemical Society.


  • Caenorhabditis elegans
  • RNAi
  • cationic polymers
  • gene knockdown
  • imogolite
  • insecticides
  • layered double hydroxide
  • nanomaterials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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