Biotech Updates

GM Potato Shows Improved Colorado Potato Beetle Resistance

January 9, 2019

One of the common ways to resist insect attacks in crops is the cultivation of Bt crops. A study suggested an alternative strategy using RNA interference (RNAi) to counter Colorado potato beetle (CPB) attack in potato plants. The results are published in Transgenic Research.

Scientists from Nigde Omer Halisdemir University in Turkey conducted a study to silence the highly specific molting-associated Ecdysone receptor (EcR) gene of CPB using RNAi. The potato plants (Agria and Lady Olympia cultivars) were transformed with EcR gene of CPB through Agrobacterium tumefaciens transformation. The transgenic plants were assessed for efficacy against CPB larvae. Results showed 15-80% CPB mortality. Furthermore, CPB larvae exposed to transgenic potato plants exhibited lower EcR transcripts, implying the functionality of dsRNA EcRin silencing EcR gene expression.

Based on the findings, the method used is an effective and reliable strategy to cope with potato insect pests.

Read the research article in Transgenic Research.