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CAB Reviews

A reviews journal covering agriculture, global health, nutrition, natural resources and veterinary science

CAB Review

Applications of RNA interference in transgenic plants.


RNA interference (RNAi) is a powerful tool to down-regulate single genes or sets of genes in a sequence-specific manner. Since its discovery in the 1990s, an impressive amount of research has revealed many of the key steps and players that produce the small RNA species at the centre of the mechanism of RNAi (i.e., small interfering RNAs and microRNAs), or mediate the downstream events that result in post-transcriptional and/or transcriptional inhibition of target gene activity. Experiments are also underway to identify the precise parameters that determine the effectiveness and specificity of the initial trigger of RNAi, and to elucidate the immediate and longer-term consequences of RNAi at the target locus. With increasing knowledge of all phases of RNAi, from induction to maintenance and propagation, the potential of RNAi as a biotechnological tool and the spectrum of its applications will continue to widen. In this review, some of the most promising technical advances of RNAi in transgenic plants will be laid out, as well as current and possible future applications.

CAB Review details

  • History
  • Published: 12 July 2006
  • ISSN
  • 1749-8848
  • Publisher information
  • CABI Wallingford UK
  • Organism descriptor(s)
  • plants
  • Record Number
  • 20063116246