Project Number: 2092-22430-003-044-T
Project Type: Trust Fund Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Jun 1, 2022
End Date: May 31, 2025
Objectives: Our proposal is to research and develop practical applications utilizing RNAi biotechnology to control the codling moth. 1. Conduct larval feeding bioassays with RNAi effectors combined with various feeding stimulators such as L-aspartate. 2. Utilize gut content analysis of wild codling moth adults to determine uptake of floral nectar resources. 3. Develop feeding lures for codling moth adults baited with RNAi effectors and attractive feedant materials such as floral nectar. 4. Perform controlled laboratory trials on efficacy of RNAi in neonate larvae and adults towards preventing codling moth damage in apples.
Standard molecular biology methods will be utilized to generate RNAi effector molecules (double stranded RNA (dsRNA)). In-house gene expression (transcriptomic) data sets will be analyzed to identify candidate target genes. Routine feeding bioassays for codling moth larvae and adults will be developed, optimized and used to deliver RNAi effectors to codling moth; standard gene expression assays such as quantitative PCR (qPCR) as well as phenotypic evaluation will be conducted to assess efficacy of RNAi mediated knockdown of target genes. This will permit full evaluation of applied potential for this approach. For gut content analyses, floral feeding bioassays will be optimized and DNA sequencing will be performed on codling moth midgut samples to evaluate degree of feeding by codling moth on floral resources.