Argentina developing pest-resistant, GMO cotton using gene-silencing technology

In Argentina, the existence of the cotton weevil represents a challenge for cotton production due to the production losses it causes. Argentina’s National Institute for Agricultural and Livestock and the cotton provinces of Chaco, Formosa, Santa Fe, and Santiago del Estero have been working on the evolution of different strategies to deal with this plague.
In a battle that the scientists fight on several fronts, they obtained varieties resistant to the boll weevil (Anthonomus grandis) by means of the RNA interference strategy (RNAi). This technique consists of obtaining a very small sequence of RNA in the plant to specifically block the functionality of an essential gene in the boll weevil and, in this way, diminish its damage capacity. “The challenge we had ahead was to generate a transformation system and adjust it to begin to transform with the gene of interest, which took us years of research,” explained Dalia Lewi, head of the Genetic Algorithm Transformation Module of INTA, which managed to generate transgenic plants of this crop.
Original Link: