Identification and functional analysis of dsRNases in spotted-wing drosophila, Drosophila suzukii

Arch Insect Biochem Physiol. 2021 Aug;107(4):e21822. doi: 10.1002/arch.21822. Epub 2021 Jun 21.


RNAi efficiency in insects is different from species to species; some species in Coleoptera are relatively more amenable to RNA interference (RNAi) than other species. One of the major factors is the presence of dsRNA-degrading enzymes, called dsRNases, in saliva, gut, or hemolymph in insects, which degrade the double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) introduced, resulting in the low efficacy of RNAi. In this study, we report a dsRNA-degrading activity in the gut homogenates from the spotted-wing drosophila, Drosophila suzukii, by ex vivo assay. Then, we identified two Drosophila suzukii dsRNase genes, named DrosudsRNase1 and DrosudsRNase2. In silico analysis shows that the gene structures are similar to dsRNases found in other insects. When dsRNases expressed in Sf9 cells were compared for their dsRNA degrading activities, dsRNase1 was more vital than dsRNase2. Both dsRNases were expressed highly and exclusively in the gut compared to the rest of body. Also, they were highly expressed during larval and adult stages but not in embryonic and pupal stages, suggesting the dsRNases protect foreign RNA molecules received during the feeding periods. DsRNase1 was expressed at a higher level in adults, whereas dsRNase2 showed more expression in early larvae. Our study on the tissue and development-specific patterns of dsRNases provides an improved understanding of the RNAi application for the management of D. suzukii.

Keywords: Drosophila suzukii; RNAi; dsRNase; endonuclease; spotted-wing drosophila.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Computer Simulation
  • Drosophila / enzymology*
  • Drosophila / genetics
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / enzymology
  • Endoribonucleases / genetics
  • Endoribonucleases / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / enzymology
  • Insect Proteins / genetics
  • Insect Proteins / metabolism*
  • Larva / enzymology
  • Male
  • Pupa / enzymology
  • RNA, Double-Stranded / metabolism*
  • Sf9 Cells


  • Insect Proteins
  • RNA, Double-Stranded
  • Endoribonucleases