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

Biedenkopf, D.; Will, Torsten GND; Knauer, T.; Jelonek, L.; Furch, Alexandra C. U. GND; Busche, Tobias GND; 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.



Citation style:

Biedenkopf, D. / Will, Torsten / Knauer, T. / et al: Systemic spreading of exogenous applied RNA biopesticides in the crop plant Hordeum vulgare. 2020. BMC BioMed Central Part of Springer Nature.


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