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 body compartments: the bacteriocytes, the gut, the embryonic chains, the head and the remaining body carcass. The authors show that gene expression knockdown effect in each single body compartment was dependent on the administration method used. Some new functions for the cathepsin-L gene in aphids were discovered. Injection of cathepsin-L dsRNA was much more effective on carcass and head, inducing body morphology alterations, and suggesting a novel role of this gene in the molting of these insects. Administration by feeding provoked cathepsin-L knockdown in the gut and specific gut epithelial cell alteration, therefore allowing a better characterization of tissue specific role of this gene in aphids.

Panagiotis Sapountzis, et al. 2014 New insight into the RNA interference response against cathepsin-L gene in the pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum: molting or gut phenotypes specifically induced by injection or feeding treatments, Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Available online 21 May 2014, ISSN 0965-1748, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ibmb.2014.05.005.


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