RNA interference mechanisms and applications in plant pathology

Cristina Rosa, Yen Wen Kuo, Hada Wuriyanghan, Bryce W. Falk

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

161 Scopus citations


The origin of RNA interference (RNAi), the cell sentinel system widely shared among eukaryotes that recognizes RNAs and specifically degrades or prevents their translation in cells, is suggested to predate the last eukaryote common ancestor (138). Of particular relevance to plant pathology is that in plants, but also in some fungi, insects, and lower eukaryotes, RNAi is a primary and effective antiviral defense, and recent studies have revealed that small RNAs (sRNAs) involved in RNAi play important roles in other plant diseases, including those caused by cellular plant pathogens. Because of this, and because RNAi can be manipulated to interfere with the expression of endogenous genes in an intra- or interspecific manner, RNAi has been used as a tool in studies of gene function but also for plant protection. Here, we review the discovery of RNAi, canonical mechanisms, experimental and translational applications, and new RNA-based technologies of importance to plant pathology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)581-610
Number of pages30
JournalAnnual Review of Phytopathology
StatePublished - Aug 25 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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