Plant Gene Silencing

Transcriptional gene silencing in plants: targets, inducers and regulators.
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Long-lasting action Their discovery led to a greater understanding of how the mechanism operates, in both plants and animals. RNAi gene silencing technology has enabled scientists to develop a safflower seed oil that contains more than 90 per cent oleic acid, a valuable fatty acid for industrial applications. RNA interference RNAi is one of the most powerful technologies for discovering important trait genes and developing novel traits in plants and animals. It holds tremendous promise as a therapeutic agent to control disease and prevent infection in plant and animal cells and has been adopted by research and biotechnology laboratories around the world.

In , the RNAi team won a CSIRO Medal - an award which honours our biggest and brightest achievements for the year in the fields of research, business, and lifetime achievement. There are many advantages for this proven technology over other methods used for reduction of gene expression. The RNAi technology is:. RNAi technology can be used to identify which genes are responsible for particular traits so that breeders can produce non-genetically modified plants.

CSIRO has a long history of developing wheat varieties with beneficial traits for yield, quality and disease resistance and environmental tolerance. This has included identifying genes of interest and validating them as potential targets, as well as observing phenotypes in proof of concept tests. Aquaculture is the world's fastest growing food production sector. CSIRO researchers are working with the aquaculture industry to achieve sustainable feed formulations, enhanced growth, survival and feed conversion rates and increased tolerance to viral diseases.

Viruses are a significant problem in many of Australia's crop plants, so having virus-resistant plants can mean many benefits to farmers, the environment and the economy. An example is where researchers developed cereal varieties with resistance to Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus. The virus can cause yield losses of about per cent in cereals such as wheat and barley. Drug Discovery. Molecular Cancer Therapeutics.

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Indeed, studies from late s to early s have uncovered multiple overlapping but functionally distinct RNA silencing pathways in plants, including the. Interest in gene silencing-related mechanisms stemmed from the early s, when this phenomenon was first noted as a surprise observation by plant.

Frontiers in Psychiatry. Biological Psychiatry. The Journal of Clinical Investigation. Bibcode : PNAS Cancer Gene Therapy. International Journal of Oncology. Clinical Cancer Research.

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Journal of Virology. Bibcode : PNAS.. Molecular Therapy. Virus Research. Annual Review of Phytopathology. The Plant Cell. Plant Disease. Archived from the original on Journal of Medical Virology. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Trends in Molecular Medicine. Systemic delivery of synthetic siRNAs. Methods in Molecular Biology. The Journal of Biological Chemistry.

The European Respiratory Journal. American Journal of Physiology. Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology. This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Abstract Understanding the fundamental nature of a molecular process or a biological pathway is often a catalyst for the development of new technologies in biology. Sense Transgene-induced RNA Silencing Sense transgenes can be silenced both transcriptionally and post-transcriptionally, which often occurs when transgenes are integrated into the plant genome as multiple-copy repeats [ 1 , 36 ].

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Intrinsic Direct-repeat Transgene A transgene containing a two-copy tandem repeat sequence in the transcribed region was previously shown to induce stronger silencing than the simple sense and antisense transgenes, although at a lower efficiency than the hpRNA transgene [ 67 ]. Terminator-less Transgenes Another distinct transgene structure has been found to induce effective gene silencing in plants. Enhancement of Resistance to Biotic Stresses Biotic stresses caused by viral, bacterial, and fungal diseases as well as insects, and nematodes are severe constraints to crop productivity.

Alteration of Plant Architecture and Flowering Time A number of studies carried out in tomato and petunia on genetic manipulation of plant architecture through RNA silencing have served as platforms for understanding the molecular basis of plant architecture [ ]. Development of Seedless Fruits Absence of seeds in fruits is appreciated by consumers for fresh consumption as well as in conserved or processed fruit products.

Modification of Flower Color and Scent A change in color or pattern of ornamental flowers could enhance value in the market. Secondary Metabolites for Neutraceutical and Pharmaceutical Applications RNA silencing technology has been used to enhance nutritional value by altering the accumulation of specific metabolites in fruits, as exemplified by the carotenoid and flavonoid content in tomato [ ].

Prolongation of Shelf-life The increase in shelf life of vegetables and fruits by delayed ripening process is highly desirable as the post-harvest deterioration and spoilage is one of the major causes of economic loss in horticultural plants. Removal of Toxic Compounds and Allergens Plants are known to contain nutritionally undesirable compounds or toxins of various types, removal of which from plants is often a cumbersome and a costly process.

Baulcombe D. RNA silencing in plants. Meister G. Mechanisms of gene silencing by double-stranded RNA. Hannon G. RNA interference. Eamens A. RNA silencing in plants: yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Plant Physiol. Bartel D. MicroRNAs: target recognition and regulatory functions. Kurihara Y. Arabidopsis micro-RNA biogenesis through Dicer-like 1 protein functions. Millar A. Plant and animal microRNAs: similarities and differences.

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Gene Silencing by microRNAs

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Pontier D. Napoli C. Introduction of a chimeric chalcone synthase gene into petunia results in reversible cosuppression of homologous gene in trans. Van der Krol A. Flavonoid genes in petunia: addition of a limited number of gene copies may lead to a suppression of gene expression. Lindbo J. Induction of a highly specific antiviral state in transgenic plants: Implications for regulation of gene expressionand virus resistance.

Waterhouse P. Gene silencing as an adaptive defence against viruses. Mette M. Transcriptional silencing and promoter methylation triggered by double-stranded RNA. EMBO J.


Gene silencing in plants: a diversity of pathways. Vermeersch L. Transitive RNA silencing signals induce cytosine methylation of a transgenic but not an endogenous target. Plant J. Brosnan C. Nuclear gene silencing directs reception of long-distance mRNA silencing in Arabidopsis. Mlotshwa S. PLoS One. Melnyk C. Intercellular and systemic movement of RNA silencing signals. RNA as a target and an initiator of post-transcriptional gene silencing in transgenic plants.

Herr A. Wang M. RNA silencing and antiviral defense in plants. Virus resistance and gene silencing in plants can be induced by simultaneous expression of sense and antisense RNA. Ding S. Antiviral immunity directed by small RNAs. Wang M-B. RNA silencing and plant viral diseases. Plant Microbe Interact. Moissiard G. RNA silencing of host transcripts bycauliflower mosaic virus requires coordinated action of the four Arabidopsis Dicer-like proteins.

Diaz-Pendon J. Suppression of antiviral silencing by Cucumber mosaic virus 2b protein in Arabidopsis is associated with drastically reduced accumulation of three classes of viral small interfering RNAs. Donaire L. Garcia-Ruiz H. Wang X. Akbergenov R. Molecular characterization of geminivirus-derived small RNAs in different plant species. Nucleic Acids Res. Blevins T. RNA silencing against geminivirus: Complementary action of post transcriptional gene silencing and transcriptional gene silencing inhost recovery.

Yadav R. Enhanced viral intergenic region-specific short interfering RNA accumulation and DNA methylation correlates with resistance against a geminivirus. Viral suppressors of RNA silencing. Trends Plant Sci. Hohn T. Roth B. Plant viral suppressors of RNA silencing. Virus Res.

Szittya G. Short defective interfering RNAs of tombus viruses are not targeted but trigger post-transcriptional gene silencing against their helper virus. Itaya A. On the role of RNA silencing in the pathogenicity and evolution of viroids and viral satellites. Fire A. Potent and specific genetic interference by double stranded RNA in Caenorhabditis elegans. High-efficiency silencing of a beta-glucuronidase gene in rice is correlated with repetitive transgene structure but is independent of DNA methylation. Watson J.

RNA silencing platforms in plants. FEBS Lett. Smith N.

How gene silencing works in plants

Total silencing by intron-spliced hairpin RNAs. Dalakoura A. Dong L. DRD1-Pol V-dependent self-silencing of an exogenous silencer restricts the non-cell autonomous silencing of an endogenous target gene. Hoffer P. Posttranscriptional gene silencing in nuclei. Helliwell C.

Constructs and methods for hairpin RNA-mediated gene silencing in plants. Methods Enzymol. Wesley S. Construct design for efficient, effective and high-throughput gene silencing in plants. Wang L. Construction of a genome wide RNAi mutant library in rice. Plant Biotechnol. Schwab R.

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Highly specific gene silencing by artificial microRNAs in Arabidopsis. Artificial trans-acting siRNAs confer consistent and effective gene silencing. Montgomery T. Intrinsic direct repeats generate consistent posttranscriptional gene silencing in tobacco. RNA silencing mediated by direct repeats in maize: a potential tool for functional genomics. Brummell D. Inverted repeat of a heterologous 3'-untranslated region for high-efficiency, high-throughput gene silencing.

Nicholson S. Transgene constructs lacking transcription termination signal induce efficient silencing of endogenous targets in Arabidopsis. Jones A.