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[Marker]Cotton Plants Expressing CYP6AE14 Double-Stranded RNA Show Improved Bollworm Resistance

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RNA interference (RNAi) is a research tool for shutting down expression of genes. In an earlier study, scientist Ying-Bo Mao and colleagues at the Chinese Academy of Sciences developed Arabidopsis and tobacco plants expressing double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) targeting a cotton bollworm gene, CYP6AE14. Bollworms which fed on the transgenic plants that exhibited suppressed CYP6AE14 expression had reduced growth on gossypol-containing diet.

Mao reports the results of their new study on generation analysis of cotton plants expressing the dsRNA targeting CYP6AE14. Bollworm larvae exhibited drastic retardation in growth, and the transgenic cotton plants had less bollworm damage than the control. After amplification techniques, the expression level of CYP6AE14 was observed to be reduced in the larvae, as early as four hours after feeding on the transgenic cotton plant, along with the decrease of the CYP6AE14 protein level. Thus, the genetically engineered co tton plants acquired improved resistance to cotton bollworms, and RNAi is an efficient way to develop an insect-proof cotton cultivar.