RNA interference-mediated control of cigarette beetle, Lasioderma serricorne

Jinmo Koo, Shankar C.R.R. Chereddy, Subba R. Palli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The cigarette beetle (CB; Lasioderma serricorne) is a pest on many stored products including tobacco. Fumigation is the common control method currently used. However, the options for controlling this pest are limited, due to resistance issues and phasing out of currently used chemical insecticides. Here, we evaluated RNA interference (RNAi) as a potential method for controlling the CB. RNA isolated from different stages was sequenced and assembled into a transcriptome. The CB RNA sequences showed the highest homology with those in the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum. Orthologs of proteins known to function in RNAi pathway were identified in the CB transcriptome, suggesting that RNAi may work well in this insect. Also, 32P-labeled double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) injected into CB larvae and adults was processed to small interference RNAs. We selected 12 genes that were shown to be the effective RNAi targets in T. castaneum and other insects and identified orthologs of them in the CB by searching its transcriptome. Injection of dsRNA targeting genes coding for GAWKY, Kinesin, Sec23, SNF7, and 26S proteasome subunit 6B into the CB larvae caused 100% mortality. Feeding dsRNA targeting SNF7 and 26S proteasome subunit 6B by sucrose droplet assay induced more than 90% mortality, which is 1.8 times higher than the mortality induced by dsGFP control (53%). These data demonstrate an efficient RNAi response in CB, suggesting that RNAi could be developed as an efficient method to control this pest.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere21680
JournalArchives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


  • SNF7
  • Tribolium
  • cigarette beetle
  • dsRNA
  • transcriptome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Insect Science


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