RNA interference technology may help stop citrus greening disease

| | April 19, 2016
Screen Shot at AM
Photo by Ellen Levy Finch
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

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
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
a a b b a f ac a

Video: Death by COVID: The projected grim toll in historical context

The latest statistics, as of July 10, show COVID-19-related deaths in U.S. are just under 1,000 per day nationally, which is ...
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 ...
types of oak trees

Infographic: Power of evolution? How oak trees came to dominate North American forests

Over the course of some 56 million years, oaks, which all belong to the genus Quercus, evolved from a single undifferentiated ...
biotechnology worker x

Can GMOs rescue threatened plants and crops?

Some scientists and ecologists argue that humans are in the midst of an "extinction crisis" — the sixth wave of ...
food globe x

Are GMOs necessary to feed the world?

Experts estimate that agricultural production needs to roughly double in the coming decades. How can that be achieved? ...
eating gmo corn on the cob x

Are GMOs safe?

In 2015, 15 scientists and activists issued a statement, "No Scientific consensus on GMO safety," in the journal Environmental Sciences ...
Screen Shot at PM

Charles Benbrook: Agricultural economist and consultant for the organic industry and anti-biotechnology advocacy groups

Independent scientists rip Benbrook's co-authored commentary in New England Journal calling for reassessment of dangers of all GMO crops and herbicides ...
Screen Shot at PM

ETC Group: ‘Extreme’ biotechnology critic campaigns against synthetic biology and other forms of ‘extreme genetic engineering’

The ETC Group is an international environmental non-governmental organization (NGO) based in Canada whose stated purpose is to monitor "the impact of emerging technologies and ...
Share via
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend