Development of a novel-type transgenic cotton plant for control of cotton bollworm

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Abstract or Summary

The transgenic Bt cotton plant has been widely planted throughout the world for the control of cotton budworm Helicoverpa armigera (Hubner). However, a shift towards insect tolerance of Bt cotton is now apparent. In this study, the gene encoding neuropeptide F (NPF) was cloned from cotton budworm H. armigera, an important agricultural pest. The npf gene produces two splicing mRNA variants—npf1 and npf2 (with a 120-bp segment inserted into the npf1 sequence). These are predicted to form the mature NPF1 and NPF2 peptides, and they were found to regulate feeding behaviour. Knock down of larval npf with dsNPF in vitro resulted in decreases of food consumption and body weight, and dsNPF also caused a decrease of glycogen and an increase of trehalose. Moreover, we produced transgenic tobacco plants transiently expressing dsNPF and transgenic cotton plants with stably expressed dsNPF. Results showed that H. armigera larvae fed on these transgenic plants or leaves had lower food consumption, body size and body weight compared to controls. These results indicate that NPF is important in the control of feeding of H. armigera and valuable for production of potential transgenic cotton.

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