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3 December 2018 Phenotypic Effects of PBAN RNAi Using Oral Delivery of dsRNA to Corn Earworm (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) and Tobacco Budworm Larvae
Man-Yeon Choi, Robert K. Vander Meer
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Insect neuropeptides represent more than 90% of all insect hormones. The pheromone biosynthesis activating neuropeptide (PBAN)/pyrokinin family is a major group of insect neuropeptides. These neuropeptides regulate a variety of biological functions from embryo to adult in moths including, sex pheromone biosynthesis and diapause. Other functions are yet to be determined.The identification of suitable target genes is most important for the successful application of RNA interference (RNAi) for pest insect control. Insect neuropeptide genes including PBAN are known to have multiple functions and could be a good target for RNAi suppression. In this study, we selected the PBAN gene and its neuropeptide products as an RNAi target for two economically important moth species, the corn earworm, Helicoverpa zea (Boddie), and the tobacco budworm, Heliothis virescens (Fabricius). We investigated RNAi effects on immature moths that had ingested the specific double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) starting at the first instar larva through pupation. We report that RNAi treatments resulted in delay of larval growth, interference of pupal development, and mortality in the two pest moths. In addition, we selected small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) to determine if they have negative phenotypic effects similar to their full-length RNAi parents.This is one of the few examples of negative RNAi effects on lepidopteran pests via feeding and suggests possible RNAi-based control of pest moths.

Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America 2018. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.
Man-Yeon Choi and Robert K. Vander Meer "Phenotypic Effects of PBAN RNAi Using Oral Delivery of dsRNA to Corn Earworm (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) and Tobacco Budworm Larvae," Journal of Economic Entomology 112(1), 434-439, (3 December 2018).
Received: 15 June 2018; Accepted: 29 October 2018; Published: 3 December 2018

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Heliothine moth
phenotypic effect
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