Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » Gainesville, Florida » Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology » Mosquito and Fly Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #343177

Research Project: Biting Arthropod Surveillance and Control

Location: Mosquito and Fly Research

Title: Reduction in Musca domestica fecundity by dsRNA-mediated gene knockdown

Author
item Sanscrainte, Neil
item Arimoto, Hanayo - Navy Entomology Center Of Excellence, Cmave Detachment
item Waits, Christy - Navy Entomology Center Of Excellence, Cmave Detachment
item Li, Lucy
item Johnson, Dana
item Geden, Christopher - Chris
item Becnel, James
item Estep, Alden - Navy Entomology Center Of Excellence, Cmave Detachment

Submitted to: PLoS One
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/18/2017
Publication Date: 1/17/2018
Citation: Sanscrainte, N.D., Arimoto, H., Waits, C.M., Li, L.Y., Johnson, D.M., Geden, C.J., Becnel, J.J., Estep, A.S. 2018. Reduction in Musca domestica fecundity by dsRNA-mediated gene knockdown. PLoS One. 13(1):e0187353. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0187353.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0187353

Interpretive Summary: The house fly (Musca domestica L.) is a major pest of humans and animals throughout the world. Scientists at the Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology and collaborators have identified a gene that when silenced with a dsRNA trigger results in long-term reductions in reproduction of the house fly. This study demonstrates that gene silencing using dsRNA can be specifically effective and has potential efficacy as a control intervention in adult house flies.

Technical Abstract: House flies (Musca domestica) are worldwide agricultural pests with estimated control costs at $375 million annually in the U.S. Non-target effects and widespread resistance challenge the efficacy of traditional chemical control. Double stranded RNA (dsRNA) has been suggested as a biopesticide for M. domestica but a phenotypic response due to the induction of the RNAi pathway has not been demonstrated in adults. In this study female house flies were injected with dsRNA targeting actin-5C or ribosomal protein (RP) transcripts RPL26 and RPS6. Ovaries showed highly reduced provisioning and clutch reductions of 94-99% in RP dsRNA treated flies but not in actin-5C or GFP treated flies. Gene expression levels were significantly and specifically reduced in dsRNA injected groups but remained unchanged in the control dsGFP treated group. Furthermore, injections with an Aedes aegypti conspecific dsRNA designed against RPS6 did not impact fecundity, demonstrating species specificity of the RNAi response. Analysis of M. domestica tissues following RPS6 dsRNA injection showed significant reduction of transcript levels in the head, thorax, and abdomen but increased expression in ovarian tissues. This study demonstrates that exogenous dsRNA is specifically effective and has potential efficacy as a control intervention in adult house flies. Further work is required to develop effective methods for delivery of dsRNA to adult flies.