Several diseases can affect citrus orchards in Brazil. Among these diseases, leprosis is one the most serious viral disease, affecting mainly sweet oranges (Citrus sinensis L. Osbeck), which are extensively cultivated for export juice production. Brevipalpus mites are recognized as vectors of the common etiological agent of leprosis - citrus leprosis virus (CiLV-C, Cilevirus). Therefore, these mites are targets of disease control and management in the field by acaricides. Aiming at sustainable ways, with lower cost and environmental risks, alternatives for this control have been studied. Among these, the use of gene silencing through the RNA interference (RNAi) has been a promising technique with positive results for the control of vector arthropods, but not explored for mites. Continuing the Research at the CCSM-IAC, the objective of this work will be to analyze the effects of gene silencing of previously selected targets as promising for citrus leprosis mite control. Mites will be evaluated after treatment with target dsRNA for gene expression levels and biological parameters (behavior and mortality). The expectation will be to establish genes able to silencing which can be invested as a future strategy for mite control and, consequently, management of citrus leprosis disease.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: