Plastid-mediated RNA interference: A potential strategy for efficient pest control

Plant Cell Environ. 2023 Sep;46(9):2595-2605. doi: 10.1111/pce.14652. Epub 2023 Jun 18.


RNA interference (RNAi) technology is a promising and effective approach for pest insect management. Owing to its sequence-guided working mechanism, RNAi has a high degree of species-selectivity, thus minimizing potential adverse effects on nontarget organisms. Recently, engineering plastid (chloroplast) genome, rather than the nuclear genome, to produce double-stranded RNAs has emerged as a powerful way to protect plants from multiple arthropod pests. Here, we review the recent progresses in the plastid-mediated RNAi (PM-RNAi) approach for pest control and the factors influencing its efficacy, and propose the strategies for further efficiency improvement. We also discuss the current challenges and the biosafety-related issues of PM-RNAi technology that need to be addressed for commercial production.

Keywords: RNAi efficiency; crop protection; double-stranded RNAs; plastid engineering.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Insecta*
  • Pest Control*
  • Plastids / genetics
  • RNA Interference
  • RNA, Double-Stranded


  • RNA, Double-Stranded