A Plant Science Story

The Problem? Harmful, common pest controls.

Problem? Inadequate pest controls.

Agricultural pests lead to more than $100 billion annually in global crop loss. Traditional pesticides may work, but they can be toxic (and some previously approved are now banned). In addition, many chemicals applied to plants accumulate in our soil, water, or food, and negatively impact beneficial insects such as bees and butterflies. And many destructive insects, weeds, viruses and fungi have developed resistance to pesticides. Farmers have fewer and fewer options for control.

Solution? Targeted Biocontrol.

By applying our safe RNA-based solution to a plant, we silence a specific gene in the pest that is critical to its growth — and we do it without genetic modification. The pest is eliminated, but the plant stays healthy and there’s no negative impact on the environment.

dsRNA is used to efficiently and specifically target the pest through a natural process known as RNA interference (RNAi). RNAi is a process found in most living organisms wherein it acts to transiently control a variety of functions. We take advantage of this process to control pests through temporary suppression of key genes that is not passed down to subsequent generations.

Results? Positive and safe.

The dsRNA product has been tested in field trials where the Colorado Potato Beetle is active. Over 20 field trials have been held across five states with positive results and striking differences in plants treated with GreenLight’s product (healthy and green) vs. non-treated plants (wilted, with holes in leaves).

The product’s efficacy has been confirmed in laboratory and greenhouse insect-feeding assays as well. We expect this product will be submitted for regulatory approval in 2020. And while our first RNA product targets the Colorado Potato Beetle, we are leveraging the flexibility of RNA technology to build a pipeline of products to address even more pest and disease problems facing farmers.

Join the GreenLight Revolution

Learn more about how GreenLight Biosciences is enabling innovative technologies to protect the health of people and the planet. We are always looking to meet new partners, new colleagues or anyone interested to learn more about RNA.