Double-stranded RNA delivery through soaking mediates silencing of the muscle protein 20 and increases mortality to the Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri.Pest Manag Sci. 2017 Sep; 73(9):1846-1853.PM
Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri Kuwayama, is the most important economic pest of citrus because it transmits Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas), the causal agent of huanglongbing (HLB). Silencing genes by RNA interference (RNAi) is a promising approach for controlling D. citri. RNAi-based insect management strategies depend on the selection of suitable target genes.
The muscle protein 20 gene DcMP20 was characterized from D. citri in an effort to impair proper muscle development through RNAi. Phylogenetic analysis showed that DcMP20 was more closely related to MP20 from Drosophila compared with its counterpart from other insect species. Developmental expression analysis revealed that transcription of DcMP20 was development dependent and reached a maximum level in the last instar (fourth-fifth) of the nymphal stage. The extent of RNAi in D. citri was dose dependent, with dsRNA-DcMP20 at 75 ng µL-1 being sufficient to knock down endogenous DcMP20 expression, which resulted in significant mortality and reduced body weight that positively correlated with the silencing of DcMP20. No effect was found when dsRNA-GFP or water was used, indicating the specific effect of dsRNA-DcMP20.
Our results suggest that dsRNA can be delivered to D. citri through soaking, and DcMP20 is an effective RNAi target to be used in the management of D. citri. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry.