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Spray on GMOs: RNA interference spray silences fungal pathogens, controls disease

| | October 31, 2016

RNA interference has emerged as a powerful genetic tool for scientific research. The demonstration that agricultural pests, such as insects and nematodes, are killed by exogenously supplied RNA targeting their essential genes has raised the possibility that plant predation can be controlled by lethal RNA signals.

We show that spraying barley with a 791 nt long dsRNA (CYP3-dsRNA) targeting the three fungal ergosterol biosynthesis genes (CYP51ACYP51BCYP51C) … efficiently inhibited the necrotrophic fungus Fusarium graminearum in directly sprayed and systemic leaf tissue. … Our findings will help in the efficient design of RNAi-based plant disease control. We provide essential information on a fundamentally new plant protection strategy, thereby opening novel avenues for improving crop yields in an environmentally friendly and sustainable manner.

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Regardless of how target-specific inhibitory RNAs are applied–by transgene delivery (HIGS) or spray (SIGS)–the use of target-specific inhibitory RNAs to confer plant protection potentially is an alternative to conventional chemicals because they are i) highly specific and solely depending on their nucleotide sequence and ii) can be developed against an unlimited range of pathogens provided that the RNAi machinery is in place. … Importantly, when considering the regulatory issue of RNA-based plant protection it is crucial to emphasize that the principles of SIGS and HIGS rely on the mechanisms found for trans-kingdom communication in mutualistic and parasitic interactions, and thus is a natural phenomenon.

[T]he present data provide essential scientific information on a fundamentally new plant protection strategy, thereby opening novel avenues for improving crop yields in an environmentally friendly and sustainable manner.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: An RNAi-Based Control of Fusarium graminearum Infections Through Spraying of Long dsRNAs Involves a Plant Passage and Is Controlled by the Fungal Silencing Machinery

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Click the link above to read the full, original article.
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