RNAi and Metaseiulus occidentalis

Sunday, November 10, 2013: 3:50 PM
Meeting Room 6 A (Austin Convention Center)
Marjorie A. Hoy , Entomology and Nematology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Ke Wu , Entomology and Nematology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
RNAi (RNA interference) is a naturally occurring response by genomes to invasion by viruses and transposable elements.  It results in the destruction of invasive RNAs and was first identified in the nematode C. elegans.  RNAi is now being used to turn down (or off) specific genes so that specific gene function(s) can be confirmed in a variety of organisms, including mites and ticks.  This type of analysis is useful for confirming the function of putative “genes” identified during analyses of transcriptomes and genomes.  This presentation will outline the concepts and concerns about RNAi for analysis of functional genes and will briefly review its potential role as a method of controlling pest mites and ticks.  We will also present preliminary data on the results of feeding several double-stranded RNAs to induce an RNAi response in the predatory mite Metaseiulus (= Typhlodromus or Galendromus) occidentalis (Nesbitt) (Acari: Phytoseiidae) in order to confirm the function of genes identified from whole-genome sequencing.