Can short interfering RNA (siRNA) be used as a species specific insecticide.
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Control of insect pests frequently uses chemical insecticides with harmful side-effects to ecosystems. A more environmentally friendly approach is required. RNA interference (RNAi) with its sequence specific mechanism of post-transcriptional gene silencing, allows species specific control in an environmentally benign manner. Successful RNAi requires delivery of cognate short interfering RNA (siRNA) into cells and suitable choice of target gene to suppress. This thesis investigates both issues using Sf21 cells (Spodoptera frugiperda). Nanocomplexes made of cell penetrating peptides with homologous sequence siRNA target transcripts of apoptosis gene SfIAP. Gene knockdown measured by RT-qPCR gave a positive result with off-target effects noted.