Sugar could be sweet way to control insect pests
"The beauty of this approach is that we can specifically target genes in the insect without any side effect on the plants," said Douglas.
The implications of successful RNAi would be far-reaching for disease control in plants. "There have been preliminary reports of using RNAi in plants to silence aphid genes," said Jander. "If this approach works well, it will open up new avenues to battle plant viruses, which are notoriously difficult to control, as well as other insect-spread diseases, including the citrus greening epidemic which is currently threatening the Florida citrus industry."
The award was granted through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative of the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. It will fund postdoctoral associates in the Douglas and Jander labs over the next three years.