The development of insecticide formulations with new mechanisms of action (modes of action, MOAs) is a huge priority for pesticide industry. This priority has become apparent during the last few years after (a) the observed increase in insect resistance for the most widely used active substances and (b) the harmful effects of the excessive use of pesticides on human health, environment, beneficial insects and fish. Silencing of genes by RNAi (RNA interference) technology provides an alternative, selective to species level, environmentally friendly strategy to combat insect pests. Double-stranded RNA molecules (double-stranded RNAs, dsRNAs) targeting important developmental genes are taken up by the digestive tract of the targeted insect speciesand induce RNAi, which results in inhibition of growth, development and reproduction of the targeted insect species. After the rapid development of RNAi technology in the past 10 years, biotech industry is seeking for new applications aimed at producing environmentally friendly genetic insecticides or genetically modified plants (GMPs) that induce environmental RNAi in the targeted insect species. These technologies are expected on the market at the end of this decade. In this chapter, we exploit established methods involving recent initiatives of RNAi technology with respect to the development of new bio-insecticidal formulations.
Part of the book: Biological Control of Pest and Vector Insects