Comparison of Nanomaterials for Delivery of Double-Stranded RNA in Caenorhabditis elegans

Stuart S. Lichtenberg, Jerome Laisney, Zeinah Elhaj Baddar, Olga V. Tsyusko, Subba R. Palli, Clement Levard, Armand Masion, Jason M. Unrine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


RNA interference is a promising crop protection technology that has seen rapid development in the past several years. Here, we investigated polyamino acid biopolymers, inorganic nanomaterials, and hybrid organic-inorganic nanomaterials for delivery of dsRNA and efficacy of gene knockdown using the model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Using an oral route of delivery, we are able to approximate how nanomaterials will be delivered in the environment. Of the materials investigated, only Mg-Al layered double-hydroxide nanoparticles were effective at gene knockdown in C. elegans, reducing marker gene expression to 66.8% of that of the control at the lowest tested concentration. In addition, we identified previously unreported injuries to the mouthparts of C. elegans associated with the use of a common cell-penetrating peptide, poly-l-arginine. Our results will allow the pursuit of further research into promising materials for dsRNA delivery and also allow for the exclusion of those with little efficacy or deleterious effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7926-7934
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of agricultural and food chemistry
Issue number30
StatePublished - Jul 29 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. CBET-1712323. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. The authors also acknowledge the CNRS for the funding of the PICS no. 08322 SODA Light. All strains were obtained from the Caenorhabditis Genetics Center, which is funded by NIH Office of Research Infrastructure Programs (P40 OD010440).

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2020 American Chemical Society.


  • Caenorhabditis elegans
  • cationic polymers
  • gene knockdown
  • imogolite
  • insecticides
  • layered double hydroxide
  • nanomaterials
  • RNAi


Dive into the research topics of 'Comparison of Nanomaterials for Delivery of Double-Stranded RNA in Caenorhabditis elegans'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this