RNAi

Simplified Illustration of RNAi

Short vs. Long Hairpin RNAs for RNAi?

Bartoletti and colleagues recently published a paper in Genesis: The Journal of Genetics and Development that reports short hairpin RNAs being more effective than long hairpins in causing loss-of-function phenotypes of pointed (Pnt)  in Drosophila melanogaster. RNA interference (RNAi) has been used […]

Boll Weevil, Anthonomous grandis.

Ribonucleoprotein Particles Improve Oral RNAi Delivery to Crop Pests

The efficacy of RNAi in insects depends in part on efficient delivery and uptake of dsRNA.  Gillet et al. (2017) report in Frontiers of Physiology on their use of protein-complexed dsRNA to silence genes in Anthonomous grandis following oral delivery, […]

Genetic Dissection of RNAi in the Colorado Potato Beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata

RNAi works well in beetles, in general, and why that is is not all that clear but Yoon et al. (2016) have begun to identify key genetic contributors in their recent paper in Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.  The authors […]

on. Image credit: www.biocomicals.com by Alper Uzun, PhD

RNAi in Beetles and Leps – Why the Difference?

It is well established that the RNAi response of Coleoptera and Lepidoptera differ greatly but less is known about the basis for these differences.  Skukla et al (2016) systematically investigated this question and report their insights in a recent paper […]

Post-feeding and -injection Dynamics of dsRNA in 4 Insects

The variability of dsRNA-induced RNA interference is well documented with some insects very amenable to this method of regulating gene expression while are others are very much less so. The factors involved in this variation are known to some extent […]

Lipoplexes and oral dsRNA delivery to Blattella germanica

Lin et al., in Pesticide Management Science have described their efforts to orally deliver dsRNA to the German cockroach, Blattella germanica. Blattella germanica is fairly sensitive to RNAi when dsRNA is injected into the hemocoel.  Directly feeding B. germanica dsRNA […]

Carbon Quantum Dots for dsRNA Delivery

Das et al. (2015) in Applied Materials & Interfaces compare chitosan, silica and carbon quantum dot nanoparticles as dsRNA delivery platforms for silencing genes in larval mosquitoes. Direct injection of dsRNA into the hemocoel of insects has  been somewhat effective […]

Powerful Genetic and Genomic Toolbox of Nasonia Wasps

Jeremy Lynch (2015) has published a nice overview of the genetic/genomic tools currently available for Nasonia species. Insects in the order of Hymenoptera are emerging as new genetic and genomic tools for evolutionary biology, development, and behavioral ecology. Among over […]

Plastid Mediated RNAi: A Novel Insecticidal Tool

Recently, Zhang et al demonstrated a robust and promising way of controlling the devastating solanaceous crops insect pest, Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata; CPB), using a modified strategy for delivering plant mediated RNAi. Increasing insect herbivores’ resistance to plant defense mechanisms […]

RNAi-based therapeutics: Delivery is key and relevant to insects

Specific gene knockdown after exogenous small interfering RNA (siRNA) injection into humans and mammals holds great promise for therapeutic applications. But enthusiasm  waned and some predict its demise because of the manifold problems in delivering the technology. A new review […]

The Drosophila RNAi Screening Center (DRSC) – A functional genomics resource useful to all insect biologists.

The Drosophila RNAi Screening Center (DRSC) at Harvard Medical School was founded by Prof. Norbert Perrimon in 2003 to provide community support for genome-wide RNAi screens in cultured Drosophila cells. Now, more than a decade later, we are still going […]

IGTRCN Trainees – Fall 2014!

The IGTRCN is working to diffuse knowledge and technology from those who ‘know’ and ‘have’ to those who do not but need to. The Peer-to-Peer Training Fellowships are intended to facilitate the process by providing modest resources to encourage interactions. […]

“Trojan Horse” Peptides: Delivery Systems With Diverse Applications

Everyone wants to get things into cells. Biomedical researchers, clinicians and even insect biologists. Consequently there is a large research community – primarily in the realm of biomedicine – that is actively exploring “delivery systems”. Cell Penetrating Peptides (CPPs), sometimes […]

Basic structure of a morpholino oligonucleotide

Have You Considered Morpholinos?

Many are making efforts to move genetic technologies into insect systems where they have not been used before  and becoming painfully aware that some technologies may not be applicable to all insects. For example, dsRNA may work well when systemically […]

Feeding Pea Aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum

RNA Silencing in Plants to Fight Aphids

Aphids feed from the plant phloem sap and are responsible for large damage on crops by either weakening the plant or transmitting plant viruses that circulate in the sap. Can we use transgenic plants to limit aphid negative impact on […]

Daphnia pulex

Water Fleas and Insects – Common Challenges for Genetic Modification – Shared Solutions?

The water flea, Daphnia pulex, is a microcrustacean that has become a model for biomedical research and, perhaps more significantly, a model for probing G x E (Genetics x Environment) interactions. Some genetic modification methods have been developed for Daphnia […]

Feed or Inject dsRNA in Aphids – It Depends

RNAi-based gene silencing has been reported but it has been problematic. The authors’ direct comparison of injection and feeding of dsRNA targeting the cathepsin-L gene in the pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum. Single aphids were analyzed at the level of five […]

Chimera, a mythic creature composed of lion, snake and goat

Marking Clones: Past and Future

As Perrimon and colleagues point out chimeras or mosaics have played and continue to play an important role in our analysis of development.  In Drosophilia the technology for creating mosaics is mature and powerful.  Even before transgenic technologies provided precision […]

Feeding or Microinjecting dsRNA into Aphids for Gene Silencing.

Aphid Hemolymph and Gut Degrade dsRNA

Aphids are sap-sucking insects of great economic importance, and recently the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum had its genome sequenced and annotated.  Insect genetic technologies are in high demand for this insect but it is proving to be a real challenge. […]