Gene knockdown by RNAi in the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum

BMC Biotechnol. 2007 Sep 28;7:63. doi: 10.1186/1472-6750-7-63.


Background: RNA interference (RNAi) is a powerful method to inhibit gene expression in a sequence specific manner.

Results: Here, we described the development of RNAi by micro-injection of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) in the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum. Injection of dsRNA into whole aphid body induced the silencing of two marker genes with different expression patterns: the ubiquitously expressed Ap-crt genes encoding a calreticulin and the gut specific Ap-cath-L gene encoding a cathepsin-L. Time-course analysis of the silencing showed similar temporal patterns for both genes: inhibition started at 1 day after injection, reached its maximum at 5 days and stopped at 7 days. A comparable 40% decrease of gene expression was observed for Ap-crt and Ap-cath-L.

Conclusion: The pea aphid is the first Hemipteran insect for which genome sequence will be available soon. The gene knockdown technique developed in this study will be an essential post-genomic tool for further investigations in aphidology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aphids / genetics*
  • Calreticulin / genetics
  • Cathepsin L
  • Cathepsins / genetics
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Cysteine Endopeptidases / genetics
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Genes, Insect*
  • Genetic Techniques*
  • RNA Interference*
  • RNA, Double-Stranded / genetics


  • Calreticulin
  • RNA, Double-Stranded
  • Cathepsins
  • Cysteine Endopeptidases
  • Cathepsin L