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Gene silencing through RNA interference (RNAi) has revolutionized the study of gene function, particularly in non-model insects. However, in Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies) RNAi has many times proven to be difficult to achieve. Most of the negative results have been anecdotal and the positive experiments have not been collected in such a way that they(More)
BACKGROUND The Asian corn borer (Ostrinia furnacalis (Guenée)) is one of the most serious corn pests in Asia. Control of this pest with entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana has been proposed. However, the molecular mechanisms involved in the interactions between O. furnacalis and B. bassiana are unclear, especially under the conditions that the(More)
A fluorescent cationic core-shell nanoparticle efficiently enters into cells with high transfection efficacy. A FNP/CHT10-dsRNA complex is orally fed to insect pests and knocks down a midgut-specific chitinase gene of the Asian corn borer, which leads to death. This is the first report on the genetic control of insect pests through a non-viral gene delivery(More)
The innate immune system of insects include the Toll pathway, which is mediated by an extracellular serine proteinase cascade. In the tobacco hornworm, Manduca sexta, hemolymph proteinase 8 (HP8) promotes the synthesis of antimicrobial proteins by cleaving proSpätzle, the putative ligand of M. sexta Toll. HP8 has been observed to form a complex in hemolymph(More)
The innate immune response of insects includes induced expression of genes encoding a variety of antimicrobial peptides. The signaling pathways that stimulate this gene expression have been well characterized by genetic analysis in Drosophila melanogaster, but are not well understood in most other insect species. One such pathway involves proteolytic(More)
Serpin-2 (SRPN2) is a key negative regulator of the melanization response in the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae. SRPN2 irreversibly inhibits clip domain serine proteinase 9 (CLIPB9), which functions in a serine proteinase cascade culminating in the activation of prophenoloxidase and melanization. Silencing of SRPN2 in A. gambiae results in spontaneous(More)
Insect hemocytes mediate important cellular immune responses including phagocytosis and encapsulation and also secrete immune factors such as opsonins, melanization factors, and antimicrobial peptides. However, the molecular composition of these important immune cells has not been elucidated in depth, because of their scarcity in the circulating hemolymph,(More)
Insect immune responses include prophenoloxidase (proPO) activation and Toll pathway initiation, which are mediated by serine proteinase cascades and regulated by serpins. Manduca sexta hemolymph proteinase-6 (HP6) is a component of both pathways. It cleaves and activates proPO activating proteinase 1 (PAP1) and hemolymph proteinase-8 (HP8), which activates(More)
In insects, 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA) is required for tanning of newly formed cuticle and the production of melanin during some types of immune responses. DOPA is produced by the hydroxylation of tyrosine, and this reaction can be catalyzed by two types of enzymes: tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and phenoloxidase (PO). TH is required for cuticle tanning(More)
Melanization is an innate immune response in arthropods that encapsulates and kills invading pathogens. One of its rate-limiting steps is the activation of prophenoloxidase (PPO), which is controlled by an extracellular proteinase cascade and serpin inhibitors. The molecular composition of this system is largely unknown in mosquitoes with the exception of(More)