Development of methods for RNA interference in the sheep gastrointestinal parasite, Trichostrongylus colubriformis Academic Article uri icon


  • The efficiency of RNA interference (RNAi) delivery to L1 through L3 stage worms of the sheep parasitic nematode Trichostrongylus colubriformis was investigated using several techniques. These were: (i) feeding of Escherichia coli expressing double stranded RNA (dsRNA); (ii) soaking of short interfering (synthetic) RNA oligonucleotides (siRNA) or in vitro transcribed dsRNA molecules; and (iii) electroporation of siRNA or in vitro transcribed dsRNA molecules. Ubiquitin and tropomyosin were used as a target gene because they are well conserved genes whose DNA sequences are available for several nematode parasite species. Ubiquitin siRNA or dsRNA delivered by soaking or electroporation inhibited development in T. colubriformis but with feeding as a delivery method, RNAi of ubiquitin was not successful. Feeding was, however, successful with tropomyosin as a target, suggesting that mode of delivery is an important parameter of RNAi. Electroporation is a particularly efficient means of inducing RNA in nematodes with either short dsRNA oligonucleotides or with long in vitro transcribed dsRNA molecules. These methods permit routine delivery of dsRNA for RNAi in T. colubriformis larval stage parasites and should be applicable to moderate to high-throughput screening.


publication date

  • August 2005