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
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.