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General Information

Document type
  • Peer-reviewed journal article
GE organism
  • maize
GE trait
  • insect resistance
  • USA


  • positive effect

Control of coleopteran insect pests through RNA interference Open Access

Baum, JA; Bogaert, T; Clinton, W; Heck, GR; Feldmann, P; Ilagan, O; Johnson, S; Plaetinck, G; Munyikwa, T; Pleau, M; Vaughn, T; Roberts, J
Nature Biotechnology. 2007 November. 25(11):1322-6

Link to full text (open access, freely available)

PMID: 17982443 DOI: 10.1038/nbt1359


Commercial biotechnology solutions for controlling lepidopteran and coleopteran insect pests on crops depend on the expression of Bacillus thuringiensis insecticidal proteins, most of which permeabilize the membranes of gut epithelial cells of susceptible insects. However, insect control strategies involving a different mode of action would be valuable for managing the emergence of insect resistance. Toward this end, we demonstrate that ingestion of double-stranded (ds)RNAs supplied in an artificial diet triggers RNA interference in several coleopteran species, most notably the western corn rootworm (WCR) Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte. This may result in larval stunting and mortality. Transgenic corn plants engineered to express WCR dsRNAs show a significant reduction in WCR feeding damage in a growth chamber assay, suggesting that the RNAi pathway can be exploited to control insect pests via in planta expression of a dsRNA.


RNAi; pesticide; rootworm; corn


Funding source
  • Monsanto
Funding country
  • United States
Funding type
  • industry: same

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Cite this study


Baum, JA, T Bogaert, W Clinton, GR Heck, P Feldmann, O Ilagan, S Johnson, G Plaetinck, T Munyikwa, M Pleau, T Vaughn, J Roberts. "Control of coleopteran insect pests through RNA interference." Nature Biotechnology 25.11 (2007): 1322-6. Web. 24 Apr. 2024.


Baum, JA., Bogaert, T., Clinton, W., Heck, GR., Feldmann, P., Ilagan, O., Johnson, S., Plaetinck, G., Munyikwa, T., Pleau, M., Vaughn, T., & Roberts, J. (2007). Control of coleopteran insect pests through RNA interference. Nature Biotechnology, 25(11), 1322-6. doi:10.1038/nbt1359

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