UK scientists identify important biological marker to control insect pests

by Katie Pratt, University of Kentucky

A University of Kentucky research team led by entomologist Subba Reddy Palli discovered a protein that plays a critical role in the effectiveness of RNA interference in beetles. This finding could improve the efficiency of this pest control technology and help manage resistance.

RNA interference, RNAi, is a process where RNA molecules constrain gene expression. It is very efficient in insects belonging to the order Coleoptera, which includes a variety of major pests such as the corn rootworm, Colorado potato beetle, pine weevil, powderpost beetle, Asian longhorned beetle and emerald ash borer. However, it has varying levels of efficiency in other insects. Continue reading