Crop Biotech Update

LncRNA Controls Susceptibility to Cry1Ac in Pink Bollworm

April 24, 2019

The extensive planting of insect resistant crops expressing Bt proteins contributed to the evolution of resistance in pests as a natural reaction. The globally destructive pest pink bollworm's resistance to Bt protein Cry1Ac is linked with mutations in PgCad1 gene, which encodes a cadherin protein that sticks with Cry1Ac in the larval midgut. In a previous study, Shenyun Li from Nanjing Agricultural University in China, together with other scientists, reported a long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) which is linked with both resistance and susceptibility to Cry1Ac. In their latest study, they tested the hypothesis that decreasing the expression of the lncRNA also reduces the transcription of PgCad1 and susceptibility to Cry1Ac. The results are published in Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology.

Results of the Quantitative RT-PCR showed that feeding susceptible pink bollworm neonates with small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) targeting this lncRNA but not PgCad1 decreased the abundance of transcripts of both the lncRNA and PgCad1. Furthermore, neonates fed with siRNA showed decreased susceptibility to Cry1Ac. These findings imply that the lncRNA increases transcription PgCad1 and susceptibility of pink bollworm to Cry1Ac.

Read the research article in Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology.