Helicoverpa armigera Hübner (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) is a devastating agricultural insect pest with broad spectrum of host range, causing million dollars crop loss annually. Limitations in the present conventional and transgenic approaches have made it crucial to develop sustainable and environmental friendly methods for crop improvement. In the present study, host-induced RNA interference (HI-RNAi) approach was used to develop H. armigera resistant tobacco and tomato plants. Chitinase (HaCHI) gene, critically required for insect molting and metamorphosis was selected as a potential target. Hair-pin RNAi construct was prepared from the conserved off-target free partial HaCHI gene sequence and was used to generate several HaCHI-RNAi tobacco and tomato plants. Northern hybridization confirmed the production of HaCHI gene-specific siRNAs in HaCHI-RNAi tobacco and tomato lines. Continuous feeding on leaves of RNAi lines drastically reduced the target gene transcripts and consequently, affected the overall growth and survival of H. armigera. Various developmental deformities were also manifested in H. armigera larvae after feeding on the leaves of RNAi lines. These results demonstrated the role of chitinase in insect development and potential of HI-RNAi for effective management of H. armigera.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 10, 2015
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