Article CC BY 4.0
refereed
published

Systemic spreading of exogenous applied RNA biopesticides in the crop plant Hordeum vulgare

Affiliation
Justus Liebig University, Centre for BioSystems, Land Use and Nutrition, Institute of Phytopathology, Germany
Biedenkopf, D.;
GND
137978146
Affiliation
Julius Kühn-Institute (JKI), Institute for Resistance Research and Stress Tolerance, Germany
Will, T.;
Affiliation
Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Germany
Knauer, T.;
Affiliation
Justus Liebig University, Institute of Bioinformatics and Systems Biology, Germany
Jelonek, L.;
GND
141862769
Affiliation
Friedrich-Schiller-University, Institute of General Botany and Plant Physiology, Germany
Furch, Alexandra Charlotte Ursula;
GND
1047906325
Affiliation
Bielefeld University, Centre for Biotechnology - CeBiTec, Germany
Busche, T.;
Affiliation
Hohenheim University, Institute for Phytomedicine, 70559 Stuttgart, Germany
Koch, A.

Background: Small (s) RNA molecules are crucial factors in the communication between hosts and their interacting pathogens/pests that can modulate both host defense and microbial virulence/pathogenicity known as crosskingdom RNA interference (ckRNAi). Consistent with this, sRNAs and their double-stranded (ds) RNA precursors have been adopted to control plant diseases through exogenously applied RNA biopesticides, known as spray-induced gene silencing (SIGS). While RNA spray proved to be effective, the mechanisms underlying the transfer and uptake of SIGS-associated RNAs are inadequately understood. Moreover, the use of the SIGS-technology as a biopesticide will require the systemic spreading of dsRNA/siRNA signals. Results: The integration of our findings strongly support the notion of long-distance spreading of SIGS-associated dsRNA and/or siRNA. In summary, our findings support the model that SIGS involves: (i) uptake of sprayed dsRNA by the plant (via stomata); (ii) transfer of apoplastic dsRNAs into the symplast (DCL processing into siRNAs); (iii) systemic translocation of siRNA or unprocessed dsRNA via the vascular system (phloem/xylem); (iv) uptake of apoplastic dsRNA or symplastic dsRNA/siRNA depending on the lifestyle/feeding behavior of the pathogen/pest. Conclusions: Our findings are significant contributions to our mechanistic understanding of RNA spray technology, as our previous data indicate that SIGS requires the processing of dsRNAs by the fungal RNAi machinery.

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