Implementing the sterile insect technique with RNA interference – a review

Darrington, Michael, Dalmay, Tamas ORCID:, Morrison, Neil I. and Chapman, Tracey (2017) Implementing the sterile insect technique with RNA interference – a review. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, 164 (3). 155–175. ISSN 0013-8703

[thumbnail of eea12575]
PDF (eea12575) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (398kB) | Preview


RNA interference (RNAi) of insect pests is reviewed and its potential for implementing Sterile Insect Technique (SIT)-related control is considered. The molecular mechanisms that support RNAi in pest species are reviewed in detail, drawing on literature from a range of species including Drosophila melanogaster and Homo sapiens. The underlying genes that enable RNAi are generally conserved across taxa, although variance exists in both their form and function. RNAi represents a plausible, non-GM system for targeting populations of insects for control purposes, if RNA interference (RNAi) effector molecules can be delivered environmentally (eRNAi). We consider studies of eRNAi from across several insect orders and review to what extent taxonomy, genetics and differing methods of double stranded (ds)RNA synthesis and delivery can influence the efficiency of gene knockdown. Several factors, including the secondary structure of the target mRNA and the specific nucleotide sequence of dsRNA effector molecules, can affect the potency of eRNAi. However, taxonomic relationships between insects cannot be used to reliably forecast the efficiency of an eRNAi response. The mechanisms by which insects acquire dsRNA from their environment require further research, but the evidence to date suggests that endocytosis and transport channels both play key roles. Delivery of RNA molecules packaged in intermediary carriers such as bacteria or nanoparticles may facilitate their entry into and through the gut, and enable the evasion of host defense systems, such as toxic pH, that would otherwise attenuate the potential for RNAi.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: insect control,environmental rnai,sterile insect technique,non-gm pest control,double-stranded rna
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Biological Sciences
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Plant Sciences
Faculty of Science > Research Centres > Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Conservation
Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Organisms and the Environment
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2017 09:35
Last Modified: 12 May 2023 00:31
DOI: 10.1111/eea.12575


Downloads per month over past year

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item