The proof-of-concept test, conducted by a leading international agriculture consultancy with expertise in pesticide evaluation, applied Renaissance’s proprietary yeast-based RNA interference technology that is designed to precisely target and turn off a specific CPB gene. This, in turn, resulted in high CPB mortality and protected the potato plant.
A key characteristic and industrial benefit of the Renaissance novel proprietary RNA production and oral delivery platform technology is that it’s possible to include multiple different gene targets in each cell of the delivery system, thereby greatly reducing or eliminating the potential for CPB to develop resistance to this innovative biopesticide.
Renaissance BioScience CEO Dr. John Husnik said the company still has work to do but the findings confirm the potential for the technology for crop protection. “Given that the large-scale, low-cost production of yeast is already readily available from well-established global yeast companies, our focus now is maximizing effectiveness through further laboratory tests and field trials and organizing appropriate commercial partners for the next phases of product development.”
The Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata) is one of the most economically devastating pests facing potato crops in North America and Mexico, Europe, Russia and Eastern Europe, and in Asia, including in western and northeastern China. As the world’s leading producers of potatoes, China and India are at the leading frontier of CPB spread as the destructive insect expands its range.