Biological, Environmental, and Earth Sciences
Over 20 years ago double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) was described as the trigger of RNAi interference (RNAi)-based gene silencing. This paradigm has held since, especially for insect biopesticide technologies where dsRNAs, similar to those described in 1998, are used to inhibit gene expression. In the intervening years, investigation of RNAi pathways has revealed the small RNA effectors of RNAi are diverse and rapidly evolving. The rich biology of insect small RNAs suggests potential to use multiple RNAi modes for manipulating gene expression. By exploiting different RNAi pathways, the menu of options for pest control can be expanded and could lead to better tailored solutions. Fortunately, basic delivery strategies used for dsRNA such as direct application or transgenic expression will translate well between RNAs transiting different RNAi pathways. Importantly, further engineering of RNAi-based biopesticides may provide an opportunity to address dsRNA insensitivity seen in some pests. Characterization of RNAi pathways unique to target species will be indispensable to this end and may require thinking beyond long dsRNA. © 2020 Society of Chemical Industry.
Pest Management Science
(2021). Insecticidal RNA Interference, Thinking Beyond Long dsRNA. Pest Management Science, 77(5), 2179-2187.
Available at: https://aquila.usm.edu/fac_pubs/18871