RNAi in integrated pest management
Abstract: The biodegradability and target-specificity of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA), puts
RNA interference (RNAi) at the forefront of biosafe insecticide technology. RNAi-based
applications are being developed to improve plants by modifying endogenous gene expression as well as to target pest and pathogen genes both within plants, i. e., host-induced gene silencing, and as topical applications, e. g., spray-induced gene silencing (SIGS). Although these RNAibased plant protection products show much potential, there remain critical knowledge gaps in each of these areas. Especially for the SIGS approach, RNAi efficacy needs to be improved by overcoming the barriers of RNAi. In addition, there is an urgent need to develop appropriate science-based risk assessment procedures for topical RNAi applications. Particular emphasis must be placed on ensuring RNAi’s compatibility with integrated pest management (IPM).