Identification and RNAi silencing of aggregation pheromone production genes in the sprucekilling bark beetles (Ips typographus)


Name of programme: GAČR – standart project


Project number: 23-07916S


Investigator for FLD: Ing. Anna Jirošová, Ph.D.


Contact person: Ing. Anna Jirošová, Ph.D.,


Implementation period: 01/2023–12/2025



The goal is to characterise regulatory genes and respective enzymes in the aggregation pheromone biosynthesis of bark beetle Ips typographus, the major pest in the European spruce forests and intervene in pheromone production by silencing these genes with the aim to suppress aggregation behaviour. Eurasian spruce bark beetle, Ips typographus (Coleoptera, Scolytinae) is a pest causing extensive damage in Eurasian forests. The massive host colonization is coordinated by the male-produced aggregation pheromone containing 2-methyl-3-buten-2-ol. Intervention in the pheromone biosynthetic genes is a promising approach to disrupt spruce killing behaviour. However, key genes involved in the production of 2-methyl-3-buten-2-ol have not been fully characterised yet. To identify regulatory genes and verify the stability of respective proteins, the pheromone production in beetles will be induced by juvenile hormone. Changes in metabolites, RNA-transcripts and proteins will be evaluated by -omics methods. Isoprenyl diphosphate synthase (IPDS), the terminal gene in 2-methyl-3-buten-2-ol synthesis, will be expressed in bacterial cells and produced enzyme will be characterized. The function of IPDS will be furtherly verified by RNAi. Serie of behavioural assays with RNAi treated males will be performed to prove that RNAi silencing of IPDS can suppress beetles' aggregation behaviour.

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