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Crop Biotech Update

Striped Stem Borer-Resistant Rice Developed Using amiRNA Expression Technology

November 4, 2020

Chinese scientists were able to develop transgenic rice resistant to the striped stem borer (SSB), a pest known to cause damage during two growth stages in rice. The results of their feeding assay and field tests revealed significant mortality rates to the SSB can help prevent significant rice yield loss.

The team from the Huazhong Agricultural University identified two representative homozygous rice lines that expressed amiRNA of SSB endogenous miRNA csu-novel-miR260 using amiRNA expression technology. They used these transgenic rice lines to conduct a five-day stem cutting feeding assay on first-instar SSB larvae, which resulted in significant lethality and retarded growth in the SSB as compared to the control set-up. Under field conditions resembling practical rice production, the researchers conducted two separate field assessments in the tillering and heading growth stages of rice. The two candidate lines exhibited a decrease in the damage rate caused by the SSB during the tillering stage by more than half (62.9% and 50.4%), while the damage rate at the heading stage also significantly decreased (74.6% and 54.0%).

The researchers concluded that amiRNA-induced RNAi is more applicable for controlling SSB than dsRNA-induced RNAi.

Read the full paper in Plant Biotechnology Journal.

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