Delivery of Methoprene-Tolerant dsRNA to Improve RNAi Efficiency by Modified Liposomes for Pest Control

Chenyu Su, Shanshan Liu, Meixue Sun, Qianlong Yu, Changyou Li, Robert I Graham, Xiufang Wang, Xinwei Wang, Pengjun Xu, Guangwei Ren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The application of RNA interference (RNAi) technology for pest control is environmentally friendly and accurate. However, the efficiency of RNAi is often inconsistent and unreliable, and finding a suitable carrier element is considered critical to success in overcoming biotic and abiotic barriers to reach the target site. The fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda (FAW), which is one of most important global agricultural pests, has recently spread rapidly to other parts of the world. In this study, a method to improve the stability and RNAi efficiency of the dsRNA carrier complex was reported. Methoprene-tolerant gene (Met) was selected as a target, a gene which is critical to the growth and development of FAW. Biomaterials nanoliposomes (LNPs) were modified with polyethylenimine (PEI) to deliver the dsRNA of Met. The synthesized Met3@PEI@LNPs reached a size of 385 nm and were found to load dsRNA effectively. Through stability and protection assays, it was found that LNPs provided reliable protection. In addition, the release curve also demonstrated that LNPs were able to prevent premature release under alkaline condition of the insect midgut but accelerate the release after entering the acidic environment of the target cells. The cell transfection efficiency of the prepared LNPs reached 96.4%. Toxicity tests showed that the use of LNPs could significantly improve the interference efficiency, with 91.7% interference efficiency achieved when the concentration of dsRNA in LNPs was only 25% of that of the control. Successful interference of Met demonstrated it could significantly shorten the larval period and make the larvae pupate earlier, thus achieving the purpose of control. In this study, we have demonstrated the use of nanotechnology to provide a novel RNAi delivery method for pest control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13576-13588
Number of pages13
JournalACS applied materials & interfaces
Issue number10
Early online date7 Mar 2023
Publication statusPrint publication - 15 Mar 2023


  • Methoprene
  • Pest Control
  • Larva
  • methoprene-tolerant
  • RNA interference
  • nanoliposomes
  • RNA, Double-Stranded - genetics
  • RNA Interference
  • Liposomes
  • pest control
  • Spodoptera frugiperda
  • Animals


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