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Oral delivery of double-stranded RNAs induces mortality in nymphs and adults of the Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri


The Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), Diaphorina citri Kuwayama, is one of the most importantcitrus pests. ACP is the vector of the phloem-limited bacteria Candidatus Liberibacteramericanus and Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus, the causal agents of thedevastating citrus disease huanglongbing (HLB). The management of HLB is based onthe use of healthy young plants, eradication of infected plants and chemical control ofthe vector. RNA interference (RNAi) has proven to be a promising tool to control pestsand explore gene functions. Recently, studies have reported that target mRNAknockdown in many insects can be induced through feeding with double-stranded RNA(dsRNA) [1-3]. In the current study, we targeted the cathepsin D, chitin synthase andinhibitor of apoptosis genes of adult and nymph ACP by feeding artificial diets mixedwith dsRNAs and Murraya paniculata leaves placed in dsRNAs solutions, respectively.Adult ACP mortality was positively correlated with the amount of dsRNA used. Bothnymphs and adult ACP fed dsRNAs exhibited significantly increased mortality overtime compared with that of the controls. Moreover, qRT-PCR analysis confirmed thedsRNA-mediated RNAi effects on target mRNAs. These results showed that RNAi canbe a powerful tool for gene function studies in ACP and perhaps for HLB control. (AU)

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