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Title: Developing ribonucleic acid interference technology to manage whitefly-transmitted begomoviruses

item Hasegawa, Daniel
item Kaur, Navneet
item CHEN, WENBO - Boyce Thompson Institute
item ZHENG, YI - Boyce Thompson Institute
item Simmons, Alvin
item FEI, ZHANGJUN - Boyce Thompson Institute
item Wintermantel, William - Bill
item Ling, Kai-Shu

Submitted to: American Phytopathological Society Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/5/2017
Publication Date: 12/1/2017
Citation: Hasegawa, D.K., Kaur, N., Chen, W., Zheng, Y., Simmons, A.M., Fei, Z., Wintermantel, W.M., Ling, K. 2017. Developing ribonucleic acid interference technology to manage whitefly-transmitted begomoviruses. American Phytopathological Society Annual Meeting. 107(12S):S5.36.

Interpretive Summary: N/A

Technical Abstract: Of nearly 300 viruses transmitted by the whitefly (Bemisia tabaci), 90% of them belong to the genus Begomovirus. Begomoviruses are efficiently transmitted by whiteflies to a range of agricultural crops. This results in billions of dollars lost annually, while jeopardizing food security worldwide. Several begomoviruses have emerged as being especially devastating, including Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV). Although, the use of pesticides has helped manage whiteflies, there remains an increasing need to develop novel strategies that are effective and sustainable. Recently, our group was the first to sequence the whitefly (B. tabaci MEAM1 or B biotype) genome. In the current study, we were interested in exploring the possibility of using ribonucleic acid (RNA) interference (RNAi) technology for whitefly control. Using transcriptome analysis of differentially expressed genes upon TYLCV infection, candidate genes were selected as potential targets for RNAi. Over 20 different double-stranded RNAs (dsRNAs) were synthesized. The effect of RNAi against whitefly survival was evaluated over a course of 10 days through feeding of whiteflies on an artificial diet containing various concentrations of dsRNA. Some RNAi constructs resulted in a dramatic increase in mortality over those whiteflies feeding on the same diet with non-target controls. The potential of using RNAi technology as a non-transgenic topical spray in managing whiteflies and TYLCV transmission will be discussed.