Date of Award
Daphnia, Chironomid, GFP, nanoparticles, nanocarrier, gene delivery, transient expression, transfection
Current pest control methods impose risks including pest resistance to insecticides, bioaccumulation of the insecticide, and ecosystem impact. There is a need for a better and more sustainable method of pest control in order to protect the environment and the populations reliant on it. Currently, an alternative method of pest control uses RNA interference (RNAi), that exploits heterologous protein expression to disable the insect pest, delivered by the use of nanoparticles. Nanocarriers show great promise in this method of use, but concerns of cytotoxicity, biodegradability, and transfer to off target organisms require careful consideration. This study focuses on optimizing a biocompatible nanoparticle-mediated gene delivery system in a chironomid species and Daphnia spp. (Daphnia) to induce transient GFP expression. A weak GFP expression was detected in the head and thoracic regions of Daphnia, but additional trials with a few changes in protocol are expected to yield more conclusive results. The successful expression of GFP would provide insight on the molecular mechanisms and interactions involved in nanoparticle-mediated gene delivery, as well as broaden understanding of a biocompatible nanocarrier’s use with insects
Job, Alexandra R., "Optimizing the Delivery of a GFP Gene via a Biocompatible Nanocarrier in Daphnia and a Chironomid" (2021). Honors Thesis. 165.