Control of Western Corn Rootworm (Diabrotica virgifera virgifera) Reproduction through Plant-Mediated RNA Interference.Sci Rep. 2017 10 03; 7(1):12591.SR
RNA interference (RNAi) in transgenic maize has recently emerged as an alternative mode of action for western corn rootworm (Diabrotica virgifera virgifera) control which can be combined with protein-based rootworm control options for improved root protection and resistance management. Currently, transgenic RNAi-based control has focused on suppression of genes that when silenced lead to larval mortality. We investigated control of western corn rootworm reproduction through RNAi by targeting two reproductive genes, dvvgr and dvbol, with the goal of reducing insect fecundity as a new tool for pest management. The results demonstrated that exposure of adult beetles, as well as larvae to dvvgr or dvbol dsRNA in artificial diet, caused reduction of fecundity. Furthermore, western corn rootworm beetles that emerged from larval feeding on transgenic maize roots expressing dvbol dsRNA also showed significant fecundity reduction. This is the first report of reduction of insect reproductive fitness through plant-mediated RNAi, demonstrating the feasibility of reproductive RNAi as a management tool for western corn rootworm.