Spodoptera litura F. is one of the most destructive insect pests of many agricultural crops and notorious for developing insecticide resistance. Developing environmental friendly control methods such as novel pheromone and RNAi-related control strategies is imperative to control this pest. In the present study, the full-length cDNA encoding the diapause hormone and pheromone biosynthesis activating neuropeptide (DH-PBAN) was identified and characterized in S. litura. This 809-bp transcript contains a 573-nucleotide ORF encoding a 191-amino acid protein, from which five putative neuropeptides, including PBAN, DH, and α-, β-, and γ-subesophageal ganglion neuropeptides, were derived. Phylogenetic analysis showed that both the whole protein and each of the five neuropeptides have high similarities to those of DH-PBANs from other insect orders particularly Lepidoptera. Females treated with TKYFSPRLamide (the active core fragment of PBAN) produced significantly more four types of pheromone compounds (A; B; C; D) than controls. RNA interference by injection of PBAN dsRNA significantly reduced the relative expression levels of this gene in adult females (approximately reduced by 60%). As a consequence, females treated with PBAN dsRNA produced significantly less four types of pheromone compounds (A; B; C; D) than controls. These results suggest that PBAN function in activating sex pheromone biosynthesis and the RNAi of DH-PBAN gene can be induced by the injection of dsRNA into the body cavity in S. litura. This study suggests the possibility of novel pheromone-related pest control strategies based on RNAi techniques.
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1 June 2015
Identification and RNA Interference of the Pheromone Biosynthesis Activating Neuropeptide (PBAN) in the Common Cutworm Moth Spodoptera litura (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae)
Journal of Economic Entomology
Vol. 108 • No. 3
Vol. 108 • No. 3