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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fargo, North Dakota » Edward T. Schafer Agricultural Research Center » Sugarbeet Research » Research » Research Project #444697

Research Project: SSBRI Disrupting Beet Curly Top Virus Transmission by Targeting Critical Genes in Beet Leafhopper Using Nanoparticle-Mediated RNAi Delivery

Location: Sugarbeet Research

Project Number: 3060-21000-045-016-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2023
End Date: Dec 30, 2024

(1) Perform RNA interference (RNAi) experiments to silence or knockdown gene targets in beet leafhopper and evaluate reduction in virus transmission; and (2) Deploy nano-particle mediated RNAi delivery to reduce BCTV transmission and spread.

For Objective 1, RNAi-based technology will be used to investigate the functions of target genes in beet leafhopper during virus transmission. A time-course experiment will be performed to determine the gene silencing efficiencies in leafhoppers over time. To determine the impact of target gene silencing on the ability of the leafhopper to transmit BCTV, a cohort of leafhoppers injected with dsRNA will be exposed to BCTV-infected sugar beet plants. After virus acquisition, leafhoppers will be individually placed onto the healthy sugar beet leaf disks and allowed an inoculation access period to transmit the viruses to leaves after which leafhoppers will be tested for virus abundance. For Objective 2, a dsRNA-nanoparticle-detergent mix will be used to treat sugar beet plants with the leafhopper after which they will be collected to determine silencing efficiency.