Success of new bug-fighting approach may vary in each field
“With RNAi, we are trying to subtly subvert important processes very precisely to bring about pest death.” Such precision requires “a deeper appreciation of how the system works,” he said. “This study shows how variation among crop pests may alter the outcome of a seemingly straightforward manipulation.”
“This is important evidence that insect populations vary in their response to RNAi and might be influenced by other selective events,” Pittendrigh said. The findings might be of interest to agricultural biotech firms that are hoping to add RNAi to their pest-killing arsenals, he said.
The Illinois Natural History Survey is a division of the Prairie Research Institute at the U. of I. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture funded this study.
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