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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(12), 2098; doi:10.3390/ijms17122098

RNA Interference of the Ecdysone Receptor Genes EcR and USP in Grain Aphid (Sitobion avenae F.) Affects Its Survival and Fecundity upon Feeding on Wheat Plants

Institute of Crop Sciences, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), Beijing 100081, China
These authors contributed equally to this work.
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: T. G. Emyr Davies
Received: 4 September 2016 / Revised: 5 December 2016 / Accepted: 8 December 2016 / Published: 14 December 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
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Abstract

RNA interference (RNAi) has been widely used in functional genomics of insects and received intensive attention in the development of RNAi-based plants for insect control. Ecdysone receptor (EcR) and ultraspiracle protein (USP) play important roles in molting, metamorphosis, and reproduction of insects. EcR and USP orthologs and their function in grain aphid (Sitobion avenae F.) have not been documented yet. Here, RT-PCR, qRT-PCR, dsRNA feeding assay and aphid bioassay were employed to isolate EcR and USP orthologs in grain aphid, investigate their expression patterns, and evaluate the effect of RNAi on aphid survival and fecundity, and its persistence. The results indicated that SaEcR and SaUSP exhibited similar expression profiles at different developmental stages. Oral administration of dsRNAs of SaEcR and dsSaUSP significantly decreased the survival of aphids due to the down-regulation of these two genes, respectively. The silencing effect was persistent and transgenerational, as demonstrated by the reduced survival and fecundity due to knock-down of SaEcR and SaUSP in both the surviving aphids and their offspring, even after switching to aphid-susceptible wheat plants. Taken together, our results demonstrate that SaEcR and SaUSP are essential genes in aphid growth and development, and could be used as RNAi targets for wheat aphid control. View Full-Text
Keywords: grain aphid (Sitobion avenae F.); ecdysone receptor (EcR); ultraspiracle protein (USP); RNA interference (RNAi) grain aphid (Sitobion avenae F.); ecdysone receptor (EcR); ultraspiracle protein (USP); RNA interference (RNAi)
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Yan, T.; Chen, H.; Sun, Y.; Yu, X.; Xia, L. RNA Interference of the Ecdysone Receptor Genes EcR and USP in Grain Aphid (Sitobion avenae F.) Affects Its Survival and Fecundity upon Feeding on Wheat Plants. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17, 2098.

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