The cotton bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera, is one of the most destructive pests in the world. A combination of molecular genetics, physiology, functional genomics, and behavioral studies has made H. armigera a model species in Lepidoptera Noctuidae. To study the in vivo functions of and interactions between different genes, clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/ associated protein 9 (Cas9) genome editing technology is a convenient and effective method used for performing functional genomic studies. In this study, we provide a step-by-step systematic method to complete gene knockout in H. armigera using the CRISPR/Cas9 system. The design and synthesis of guide RNA (gRNA) are described in detail. Then, the subsequent steps consisting of gene-specific primer design for guide RNA (gRNA) creation, embryo collection, microinjection, insect rearing, and mutant detection are summarized. Finally, troubleshooting advice and notes are provided to improve the efficiency of gene editing. Our method will serve as a reference for the application of CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing in H. armigera as well as other Lepidopteran moths.
Dong Ai, Bing Wang, Zhennan Fan
Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE