Insects and other arthropods are the most important vectors of plant pathogens. The majority of plant pathogens are disseminated by arthropod vectors such as aphids, beetles, leafhoppers, planthoppers, thrips and whiteflies. Transmission of plant pathogens and the challenges in managing insect vectors due to insecticide resistance are factors that contribute to major food losses in agriculture. RNA interference (RNAi) was recently suggested as a promising strategy for controlling insect pests, including those that serve as important vectors for plant pathogens. The last decade has witnessed a dramatic increase in the functional analysis of insect genes, especially those whose silencing results in mortality or interference with pathogen transmission. The identification of such candidates poses a major challenge for increasing the role of RNAi in pest control. Another challenge is to understand the RNAi machinery in insect cells and whether components that were identified in other organisms are also present in insect. This review will focus on summarizing success cases in which RNAi was used for silencing genes in insect vector for plant pathogens, and will be particularly helpful for vector biologists.
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