RNA interference of carboxyesterases causes nymph mortality in the Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri.


Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri Kuwayama (Hemiptera: Liviidae), is an important pest of citrus. In addition, D. citri is the vector of Huanglongbing, a destructive disease in citrus, also known as citrus greening disease caused by Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus. Huanglongbing causes huge losses for citrus industries. Insecticide application for D. citri is the major strategy to prevent disease spread. The heavy use of insecticides causes development of insecticide resistance. We used RNA interference (RNAi) to silence genes implicated in pesticide resistance in order to increase the susceptibility. The activity of dsRNA to reduce the expression of carboxyesterases including esterases FE4 (EstFE4) and acetylcholinesterases (AChe) in D. citri was investigated. The dsRNA was applied topically to the fourth and fifth instars of nymphs. We targeted several EstFE4 and AChe genes using dsRNA against a consensus sequence for each of them. Five concentrations (25, 50, 75, 100, 125 ng/μl) from both dsRNAs were used. The treatments with the dsRNA caused concentration dependent nymph mortality. The highest gene expression levels of both AChe and EstFE4 were found in the fourth and fifth nymphal instars. Gene expression analysis showed that AChe genes were downregulated in emerged adults from dsRNA-AChe-treated nymphs compared to controls. However, EstFE4 genes were not affected. In the same manner, treatment with dsRNA-EstFE4 reduced expression level of EstFE4 genes in emerged adults from treated nymphs, but did not affect the expression of AChe genes. In the era of environmentally friendly control strategies, RNAi is a new promising venue to reduce pesticide applications.

DOI: 10.1002/arch.21377

Cite this paper

@article{Kishk2017RNAIO, title={RNA interference of carboxyesterases causes nymph mortality in the Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri.}, author={Abdelaziz Kishk and Helmy A I Anber and Tsamoh K AbdEl-Raof and AbdEl-Hakeem D El-Sherbeni and Sobhy Hamed and Siddarame Gowda and Nabil Killiny}, journal={Archives of insect biochemistry and physiology}, year={2017}, volume={94 3} }