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The development of an egg-soaking method for delivering dsRNAs into spider mites


·      Jing Yang

·      Yuying Zhang

·      Zhonghuan Zhang

·      Meifeng Ren

·      Yifei Wang

·      Yuanpeng Duan

·      Yue Gao 

·      Zhongfang Liu

·      Pengjiu Zhang 

·      Renjun Fan

·      Xuguo Zhou


  • Egg-soaking is the most efficient dsRNAs delivery method into spider mites.

  • Amphitetranychus viennensis is more sensitive to RNAi than Tetranychus urticae.

  • Dose-dependent RNAi was observed in both A. viennensis and T. urticae.

  • Egg and larvae are the most sensitive life stages to RNAi in A. viennensis.

  • The mode of entry of egg-soaking RNAi method acts as both stomach and contact toxin.


Recently, the first sprayable RNAi biopesticide, Ledprona, against the Colorado potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata, has been registered at the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Spider mites (Acari: Tetranychidae), a group of destructive agricultural and horticultural pests, are notorious for rapid development of insecticide/acaricide resistance. The management options, on the other hand, are extremely limited. RNAi-based biopesticides offer a promising control alternative to address this emerging issue. In this study, we i) developed an egg-soaking dsRNA delivery method; ii) evaluated the factors influencing RNAi efficiency, and finally iii) investigated the potential mode of entry of this newly developed egg-soaking RNAi method. In comparison to other dsRNA delivery methods, egg-soaking method was the most efficient, convenient/practical, and cost-effective method for delivering dsRNAs into spider mites. RNAi efficiency of this RNAi method was affected by target genes, dsRNA concentration, developmental stages, and mite species. In general, the hawthorn spider mite, Amphitetranychus viennensis, is more sensitive to RNAi than the two-spotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae, and both of them have dose-dependent RNAi effect. For different life stages, egg and larvae are the most sensitive life stages to dsRNAs. For different target genes, there is no apparent association between the suppression level and the resultant phenotype. Finally, we demonstrated that this egg-soaking RNAi method acts as both stomach and contact toxicity. Our combined results demonstrate the effectiveness of a topically applied dsRNA delivery method, and the potential of a spray induced gene silencing (SIGS) method as a control alternative for spider mites.

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