Eur. J. Entomol. 105 (5): 815-822, 2008 | DOI: 10.14411/eje.2008.108

Phyllotreta striolata (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae): Arginine kinase cloning and RNAi-based pest control

Yiying ZHAO1,2, Guang YANG1, Gefu WANG-PRUSKI3, Minsheng YOU*,1
1 Institute of Applied Ecology, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou 350002, China; e-mails: yiying_zhao@yahoo.com
2 Key Laboratory of Oasis Eco-agriculture, College of Agriculture, Shihezi University, Shihezi 832003, China
3 Department of Plant and Animal Sciences, Nova Scotia Agricultural College, P.O. Box 550, Truro, B2N 5E3 Nova Scotia, Canada

Insect pests cause billions of dollars in crop losses and there is the ever-present threat of insecticide resistance, pesticide pollution of food and environmental damage. New ways of controlling insect pests are urgently needed. Arginine kinase (AK) is a phosphotransferase, which plays a critical role in cellular energy metabolism in invertebrates. It only presents in invertebrates and may be a suitable chemotherapeutic target in the control of pests. In this study, we cloned and characterized the full-length AK gene from Phyllotreta striolata, one of the most destructive beetle pests worldwide. Furthermore, we constructed a dsRNA targeting AK and used RNAi to control the beetle. The feeding bioassays indicated that minute quantities of dsRNA greatly impaired the beetle's development. Ingestion of dsRNA not only significantly retarded the development and increased the mortality of adults, it also greatly reduced fecundity and fertility, suggesting that RNAi targeting AK is a potential and attractive tool for controlling insect pests.

Keywords: Arginine kinase, Chrysomelidae, Phyllotreta striolata, cloning, RNAi, pest control

Received: April 10, 2008; Accepted: June 16, 2008; Published: December 30, 2008

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