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Improvement of pest resistance in transgenic tobacco plants expressing dsRNA of an insect-associated gene EcR.

Zhu JQ, Liu S, Ma Y, Zhang JQ, Qi HS, Wei ZJ, Yao Q, Zhang WQ, Li S - PLoS ONE (2012)

Bottom Line: The adoption of pest-resistant transgenic plants to reduce yield loss and pesticide utilization has been successful in the past three decades.When H. armigera larvae were fed with the whole transgenic tobacco plants expressing EcR dsRNA, resistance to H. armigera was significantly improved in transgenic plants.Meanwhile, when H. armigera larvae were fed with leaves of transgenic tobacco plants expressing EcR dsRNA, its EcR mRNA level was dramatically decreased causing molting defects and larval lethality.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Key Laboratory of Insect Developmental and Evolutionary Biology, Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China.

ABSTRACT
The adoption of pest-resistant transgenic plants to reduce yield loss and pesticide utilization has been successful in the past three decades. Recently, transgenic plant expressing double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) targeting pest genes emerges as a promising strategy for improving pest resistance in crops. The steroid hormone, 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E), predominately controls insect molting via its nuclear receptor complex, EcR-USP. Here we report that pest resistance is improved in transgenic tobacco plants expressing dsRNA of EcR from the cotton bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera, a serious lepidopteran pest for a variety of crops. When H. armigera larvae were fed with the whole transgenic tobacco plants expressing EcR dsRNA, resistance to H. armigera was significantly improved in transgenic plants. Meanwhile, when H. armigera larvae were fed with leaves of transgenic tobacco plants expressing EcR dsRNA, its EcR mRNA level was dramatically decreased causing molting defects and larval lethality. In addition, the transgenic tobacco plants expressing H. armigera EcR dsRNA were also resistant to another lepidopteran pest, the beet armyworm, Spodoptera exigua, due to the high similarity in the nucleotide sequences of their EcR genes. This study provides additional evidence that transgenic plant expressing dsRNA targeting insect-associated genes is able to improve pest resistance.

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Transgenic tobacco plants expressing HaEcR dsRNA improves resistance to S. exigua.(A) The nucleotide sequence of HaEcR and SeEcR share high identity. (B) The S. exigua larvae feeding with leaves of transgenic tobacco plants expressing HaEcR dsRNA died at different developmental stages with significant molting defects. (C) Feeding with leaves of transgenic tobacco plants expressing HaEcR dsRNA caused significantly higher lethality than in control.
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pone-0038572-g006: Transgenic tobacco plants expressing HaEcR dsRNA improves resistance to S. exigua.(A) The nucleotide sequence of HaEcR and SeEcR share high identity. (B) The S. exigua larvae feeding with leaves of transgenic tobacco plants expressing HaEcR dsRNA died at different developmental stages with significant molting defects. (C) Feeding with leaves of transgenic tobacco plants expressing HaEcR dsRNA caused significantly higher lethality than in control.

Mentions: Homology search reveals that the nucleotide sequence of S. exigua EcR (SeEcR) shares 89% identity to that of HaEcR (Figure 6A), suggesting that transgenic tobacco plants expressing HaEcR dsRNA might exhibit resistance to S. exigua as well. As expected, resistance to S. exigua was improved in transgenic tobacco plants expressing HaEcR dsRNA (data not shown). The S. exigua larvae feeding with leaves of transgenic tobacco plants expressing HaEcR dsRNA died during larval molting, pupation, and adult emergence (Figure 6B) showing significant molting defects. Moreover, feeding with leaves of transgenic tobacco plants expressing HaEcR dsRNA caused significantly higher lethality (40%) than in the control (20%) (Figure 6C).


Improvement of pest resistance in transgenic tobacco plants expressing dsRNA of an insect-associated gene EcR.

Zhu JQ, Liu S, Ma Y, Zhang JQ, Qi HS, Wei ZJ, Yao Q, Zhang WQ, Li S - PLoS ONE (2012)

Transgenic tobacco plants expressing HaEcR dsRNA improves resistance to S. exigua.(A) The nucleotide sequence of HaEcR and SeEcR share high identity. (B) The S. exigua larvae feeding with leaves of transgenic tobacco plants expressing HaEcR dsRNA died at different developmental stages with significant molting defects. (C) Feeding with leaves of transgenic tobacco plants expressing HaEcR dsRNA caused significantly higher lethality than in control.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3369839&req=5

pone-0038572-g006: Transgenic tobacco plants expressing HaEcR dsRNA improves resistance to S. exigua.(A) The nucleotide sequence of HaEcR and SeEcR share high identity. (B) The S. exigua larvae feeding with leaves of transgenic tobacco plants expressing HaEcR dsRNA died at different developmental stages with significant molting defects. (C) Feeding with leaves of transgenic tobacco plants expressing HaEcR dsRNA caused significantly higher lethality than in control.
Mentions: Homology search reveals that the nucleotide sequence of S. exigua EcR (SeEcR) shares 89% identity to that of HaEcR (Figure 6A), suggesting that transgenic tobacco plants expressing HaEcR dsRNA might exhibit resistance to S. exigua as well. As expected, resistance to S. exigua was improved in transgenic tobacco plants expressing HaEcR dsRNA (data not shown). The S. exigua larvae feeding with leaves of transgenic tobacco plants expressing HaEcR dsRNA died during larval molting, pupation, and adult emergence (Figure 6B) showing significant molting defects. Moreover, feeding with leaves of transgenic tobacco plants expressing HaEcR dsRNA caused significantly higher lethality (40%) than in the control (20%) (Figure 6C).

Bottom Line: The adoption of pest-resistant transgenic plants to reduce yield loss and pesticide utilization has been successful in the past three decades.When H. armigera larvae were fed with the whole transgenic tobacco plants expressing EcR dsRNA, resistance to H. armigera was significantly improved in transgenic plants.Meanwhile, when H. armigera larvae were fed with leaves of transgenic tobacco plants expressing EcR dsRNA, its EcR mRNA level was dramatically decreased causing molting defects and larval lethality.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Key Laboratory of Insect Developmental and Evolutionary Biology, Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China.

ABSTRACT
The adoption of pest-resistant transgenic plants to reduce yield loss and pesticide utilization has been successful in the past three decades. Recently, transgenic plant expressing double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) targeting pest genes emerges as a promising strategy for improving pest resistance in crops. The steroid hormone, 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E), predominately controls insect molting via its nuclear receptor complex, EcR-USP. Here we report that pest resistance is improved in transgenic tobacco plants expressing dsRNA of EcR from the cotton bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera, a serious lepidopteran pest for a variety of crops. When H. armigera larvae were fed with the whole transgenic tobacco plants expressing EcR dsRNA, resistance to H. armigera was significantly improved in transgenic plants. Meanwhile, when H. armigera larvae were fed with leaves of transgenic tobacco plants expressing EcR dsRNA, its EcR mRNA level was dramatically decreased causing molting defects and larval lethality. In addition, the transgenic tobacco plants expressing H. armigera EcR dsRNA were also resistant to another lepidopteran pest, the beet armyworm, Spodoptera exigua, due to the high similarity in the nucleotide sequences of their EcR genes. This study provides additional evidence that transgenic plant expressing dsRNA targeting insect-associated genes is able to improve pest resistance.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus