RNA interference technology may help stop citrus greening disease

Screen Shot at AM
Photo by Ellen Levy Finch

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis.

[Nabil] Killiny, an assistant professor of entomology, is researching ways to genetically disable the Asian citrus psyllid, the insect that hosts the deadly citrus greening bacteria, that would render it incapable of spreading the disease, or at least greatly inhibit its ability to do so. He works at the Citrus Research and Education Center. . .

Citrus greening poses the greatest threat to the Florida citrus industry. . . The disease is responsible for a 70 percent reduction in the state’s biggest citrus crop, oranges, since its discovery in 2005.

. . . .

Psyllids spread greening by acquiring the bacteria when feeding on an infected plant, retaining the deadly microorganisms in its intestines, then transmitting bacteria through saliva when it feeds on a healthy tree, Killiny said.

. . . .

Killiny works with a technique called “RNA interference,” or RNAi. RNA stands for “ribonucleic acid,” a chemical present in all living cells that carries genetic information.

. . . .

He has already demonstrated RNAi can alter a psyllid’s wing formation, rendering it unable to fly and spread bacteria, Killiny said. He has also identified RNAi could alter the psyllid’s ability to host greening bacteria, to mate and to suppress the insect’s ability to develop a resistance to pesticides.

. . . .

Killiny acknowledged a successful RNAi would not be 100 percent effective, just as no pesticide will destroy 100 percent of insects.

For that reason, RNAi would become another important tool in an “integrated pest management” strategy, Killiny said. . . .

Killiny said he hopes to have a successful RNAi tool for Florida growers within five years. When that would become widely available would depend upon state and federal regulatory approval.

Read full, original post: Citrus greening: Building a wall against deadly bacteria

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

As Europe sees record coronavirus cases and deaths, Slovakia is testing its entire adult population. WSJ's Drew Hinshaw explains how ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend