About this Research Topic
Environmental safety concerns around synthetic chemical insecticides, along with the development of insect populations resistant to several insecticides, has stimulated basic and applied research into biological control agents. One such class of bioinsecticides are dsRNA, polyribonucleotides of various forms and structures that can be used to trigger RNA interference (RNAi) in insects. When targeted toward essential gene classes, dsRNA provides effective pest control. Stemming from an abundance of genomic information to guide a selection of candidate RNAi-sensitive target genes, significant progress has been made toward the development of dsRNA as an ecologically safe biocontrol agent for many important insect pests, either as a sprayable bioinsecticide or a plant-incorporated pesticide. This Research Topic, covering the most recent advances on the topic of insecticidal RNAi will highlight technical successes and underscore hurdles that need to be overcome to realize the widespread application of this technology in modern agriculture.
Authors are welcome to submit original articles presenting new research findings and reviews of summarizing the development of insecticidal RNA products. Contributions summarizing the perspectives of regulatory agencies are also welcome.
Some potential themes of interest for this Research Topic include but are not limited to:
- Advances in the discovery of dsRNA targets in non-model organisms
- Advances in the basic understanding of RNAi mechanisms and barriers in insects
- Advances in understanding insect resistance to dsRNA
- Advances in delivery technology to improve the efficacy of dsRNA
- Advances in large scale production of dsRNA
- The successful development of sprayable and in-plant dsRNA bioinsecticides in the field
- Safety studies and regulatory perspectives of dsRNA bioinsecticides
Ken Narva and Thais Rodrigues are employees of GreenLight Biosciences. Ana Vélez has received funding from Dow Agrosciences, Bayer Cropscience, and GreenLight Biosciences to perform RNAi research. Lynne Rieske-Kinney has received funding from GreenLight Biosciences to perform RNAi research. Ken Narva, Lynne Rieske-Kinney, Thais Rodrigues, and Ana Vélez have issued patents related to RNAi technology of insect pest management.
Keywords: RNAi, insect control, crop protection, biocontrol, trait
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