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      Knockdown of RNA interference pathway genes impacts the fitness of western corn rootworm

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          Abstract

          Western corn rootworm ( Diabrotica virgifera virgifera) is a serious agricultural pest known for its high adaptability to various management strategies, giving rise to a continual need for new control options. Transgenic maize expressing insecticidal RNAs represents a novel mode of action for rootworm management that is dependent on the RNA interference (RNAi) pathways of the insect for efficacy. Preliminary evidence suggests that western corn rootworm could develop broad resistance to all insecticidal RNAs through changes in RNAi pathway genes; however, the likelihood of field-evolved resistance occurring through this mechanism remains unclear. In the current study, eight key genes involved in facilitating interference in the microRNA and small interfering RNA pathways were targeted for knockdown in order to evaluate impact on fitness of western corn rootworm. These genes include drosha, dicer-1, dicer-2, pasha, loquacious, r2d2, argonaute 1, and argonaute 2. Depletion of targeted transcripts in rootworm larvae led to changes in microRNA expression, decreased ability to pupate, reduced adult beetle emergence, and diminished reproductive capacity. The observed effects do not support evolution of resistance through changes in expression of these eight genes due to reduced insect fitness.

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          Control of coleopteran insect pests through RNA interference.

          Commercial biotechnology solutions for controlling lepidopteran and coleopteran insect pests on crops depend on the expression of Bacillus thuringiensis insecticidal proteins, most of which permeabilize the membranes of gut epithelial cells of susceptible insects. However, insect control strategies involving a different mode of action would be valuable for managing the emergence of insect resistance. Toward this end, we demonstrate that ingestion of double-stranded (ds)RNAs supplied in an artificial diet triggers RNA interference in several coleopteran species, most notably the western corn rootworm (WCR) Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte. This may result in larval stunting and mortality. Transgenic corn plants engineered to express WCR dsRNAs show a significant reduction in WCR feeding damage in a growth chamber assay, suggesting that the RNAi pathway can be exploited to control insect pests via in planta expression of a dsRNA.
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            Site-directed mutagenesis by overlap extension using the polymerase chain reaction

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              Distinct roles for Drosophila Dicer-1 and Dicer-2 in the siRNA/miRNA silencing pathways.

              The RNase III enzyme Dicer processes RNA into siRNAs and miRNAs, which direct a RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC) to cleave mRNA or block its translation (RNAi). We have characterized mutations in the Drosophila dicer-1 and dicer-2 genes. Mutation in dicer-1 blocks processing of miRNA precursors, whereas dicer-2 mutants are defective for processing siRNA precursors. It has been recently found that Drosophila Dicer-1 and Dicer-2 are also components of siRNA-dependent RISC (siRISC). We find that Dicer-1 and Dicer-2 are required for siRNA-directed mRNA cleavage, though the RNase III activity of Dicer-2 is not required. Dicer-1 and Dicer-2 facilitate distinct steps in the assembly of siRISC. However, Dicer-1 but not Dicer-2 is essential for miRISC-directed translation repression. Thus, siRISCs and miRISCs are different with respect to Dicers in Drosophila.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                courtney.vogel@pioneer.com
                Journal
                Sci Rep
                Sci Rep
                Scientific Reports
                Nature Publishing Group UK (London )
                2045-2322
                18 May 2018
                18 May 2018
                2018
                : 8
                : 7858
                Affiliations
                [1 ]ISNI 0000 0004 0414 655X, GRID grid.292487.2, Research and Development, , DuPont Pioneer, 7300 NW 62nd Ave., ; Johnston, IA USA
                [2 ]ISNI 0000 0004 1936 7312, GRID grid.34421.30, Roy J. Carver Department of Biochemistry, , Biophysics, and Molecular Biology, Iowa State University, 2437 Pammel Dr., ; Ames, IA USA
                Author information
                http://orcid.org/0000-0002-2130-2855
                Article
                26129
                10.1038/s41598-018-26129-6
                5959937
                29777111
                3ee89f04-1ede-429f-802a-dcb68d324ce9
                © The Author(s) 2018

                Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

                History
                : 9 March 2018
                : 4 May 2018
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