Submitted to: Journal of Insect Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/16/2004
Publication Date: 5/17/2004
Citation: Fabrick, J.A., Kanost, M.R., Baker, J.E. 2004. Rnai-induced silencing of embryonic tryptophan oxygenase in the pyralid moth, Plodia interpunctella. Journal of Insect Science, 4-15.
Interpretive Summary: Gene silencing is a powerful technique that can be used to study gene function in insects and other organisms. We demonstrate that interference with messenger RNA can eliminate the function of selected enzymes in larvae of the Indianmeal moth. In this study, an enzyme responsible for production of eye color pigments was "knocked-out" in the embryonic stages, with the result that the eye spots in the emerging larvae were not pigmented. This technology can allow functional analysis of complex gene systems, for example, the immune response of the Indianmeal moth to infection, by silencing individual enzymes in the pathway and observing the physiological effects.
Technical Abstract: Gene silencing through the introduction of dsRNA provides a powerful tool for the elucidation of gene function in many systems, including those where genomics and proteomics is incomplete. The use of RNA interference (RNAi) technology in Lepidoptera has lacked significant attention compared to other systems. To demonstrate that RNAi can be utilized in the lepidopteran, Plodia interpunctella, we cloned a cDNA for tryptophan oxygenase (TO), and showed that gene silencing of TO through RNAi during embryonic development resulted in loss of eye-color pigmentation.