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The emerging importance of noncoding RNAs in the insecticide tolerance, with special emphasis on Plutella xylostella (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae)

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Abstract Recently generated high‐throughput sequencing data sets have shed light on the important regulatory roles of noncoding RNA (ncRNA) molecules in the development of higher organisms. Nowadays it is well‐known that regulatory ncRNAs can bind complementary RNA or DNA sequences and recruit chromatin remodelers to selectively modulate gene expression. Consequently, genome sequencing and transcriptomics technologies are now being used to reveal hidden associations among ncRNAs and distinct biological mechanisms. This is the case for the diamondback moth Plutella xylostella, a worldwide pest known to infest cruciferous crops and to display resistance to most insecticides, including Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) based biopesticides. In P. xylostella, it is thought that ncRNAs could play important roles in both development and insecticide resistance. This review will highlight recent insights into the roles of ncRNAs in P. xylostella and related lepidopterans, and will outline genetic engineering technologies which might be used to design efficient ncRNA‐based pest control strategies. This article is categorized under: Regulatory RNAs/RNAi/Riboswitches > Regulatory RNAs
Schematic representation of the major classes of noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) and their functions. (a) Long ncRNAs (lncRNAs). lncRNAs can be generated from either noncoding or protein‐coding genes, usually by using the same transcriptional machinery that controls mRNA production. These molecules (lncRNAs) have been shown to be able to regulate gene expression through a variety of mechanisms. For example, lncRNAs can inhibit translation, act as enhancer RNAs, form chromatin remodeling complexes, and modulate RNA splicing. (b) Small ncRNAs (sncRNAs). MicroRNA (miRNA) genes encode transcripts that are processed by the RNase Drosha to hairpin precursor miRNAs (pre‐miRNAs). After this initial processing, these pre‐miRNAs are cleaved by Dicer‐1, while long double‐stranded RNAs (dsRNAs) are processed by Dicer‐2, to generate double‐stranded miRNAs and siRNA duplexes, respectively. Subsequently, miRNAs are loaded into Argonaute1 (Ago1) and siRNAs into Argonaute2 (Ago2) to form effector complexes in which the “passenger strand” is discarded and the remaining “guide strand” directs the complex to complementary target sequences to mediate regulatory responses such as messenger RNA (mRNA) degradation, inhibition of translation and chromatin remodeling (i.e., transcriptional control). The PIWI‐interacting RNAs (piRNAs) represent another important class of regulatory sncRNAs and they are known to be mostly derived from genomic clusters (Siomi, Sato, Pezic, & Aravin, ). In the canonical primary pathway, antisense piRNAs are processed and subsequently loaded onto PIWI proteins, forming complexes that target transposons and thus induce their silencing
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RNA interference (RNAi) strategies for pest management. Genetically modified plants can be engineered to carry transgenic DNA constructs encoding short‐hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) directed against target sequences of the insect plague. Similarly, DNA constructs can also be inserted into microorganisms or produced by other laboratory methods. shRNAs can be delivered to susceptible insect populations in the form of feeding spray solutions. After ingestion or insecticide spraying, shRNAs are processed in the insect gut by the RNAi host machinery in order to trigger gene silencing pathways (in this case, target mRNA cleavage). The arrow in the promoter region indicates the direction of transcription of the simplified DNA construct
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Regulatory RNAs/RNAi/Riboswitches > Regulatory RNAs

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