Effective, Non-Invasive dsRNA Delivery Method for Insect Control

Reference Number: 11-08

Inventor: Kun Yan Zhu, Xin Zhang, Jianzhen Zhang

Description:

In response to the growing concern of human health and sustainable agricultural production in the world, insect pest control has become an increasingly important issue. Currently, we have a very limited numbers of target sites for developing new chemical insecticides. However, insects possess a large number of “essential” genes, which will allow researchers to develop novel RNA interference (RNAi)-based insect control technologies. Although direct injection of double stranded RNA (dsRNA) into the insect body is the most commonly used delivery method for RNAi in research, such a method is not suitable for insect control.

Researchers at Kansas State University have developed the first effective, non-invasive insect larval feeding-based RNAi method. The method relies on the nanoparticles assembled from a non-toxic biopolymer and dsRNA to increase the stability of dsRNA and uptake of dsRNA by insect cells. Such a gene silencing method is suitable for almost all insect species during their feeding stages and can be used to develop RNAi-based insect control technologies (e.g. insect baits).

Advantages:
  • Increased stability of dsRNA
  • Increased cellular uptake in insect body
  • Tailored for specific insect pest species
  • Readily applicable to target various genes in the pest
  • Great potential to produce various forms of insect baits (e.g. liquid, gel, etc.)
  • Biodegradable and non-toxic to the environment
Applications:
  • Development of RNAi-based insect baits as a replacement for harmful pesticides
  • Development of high throughput screening of novel gene functions by insect feeding
Patent Status
  • U.S. patent #8,841,272 issued on September 23, 2014.

Kansas State University Research Foundation seeks to have discussions with companies that are interested in licensing and/or research collaborations.

Interested parties should contact:

Kansas State University Institute for Commercialization (KSU-IC)
2005 Research Park Circle Manhattan, KS 66502
Tel: 785-532-3900 Fax: 785-532-3909
E-Mail: ic@k-state.edu