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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fargo, North Dakota » Edward T. Schafer Agricultural Research Center » Sugarbeet Research » Research » Research Project #444698

Research Project: SSBRI Novel Palmer Amaranth Management Tools Using RNA-targeting with FANA Antisense Oligonucleotides

Location: Sugarbeet Research

Project Number: 3060-21000-045-017-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2023
End Date: Dec 30, 2025

Development of a foliar spray application of RNA-targeting antisense oligonucleotides to manage Palmer amaranth.

As a proof of concept, Arabidopsis thaliana plants expressing luciferase will be targeted for degradation using single-stranded nucleic acid analogs. Treated and control plants will be assessed for luciferase content. Treatments will be optimized as necessary to identify the ideal conditions for gene silencing. Subsequently, multiple targets in Palmer amaranth will be targeted following the success of A. thaliana experiments. We will measure 1) target gene expression knockdown using quantitative real-time PCR, 2) changes in photosynthesis, 3) visual injury including plant height, and 4) leaf necrosis using images to quantify yellowing and necrosis. Additionally, various spray adjuvants/detergents will be assessed to further optimize uptake and biological activity. Once the best delivery system is identified, additional Palmer amaranth populations including those with glyphosate resistance and enhanced herbicide metabolism will be tested. We will also apply the antisense oligonucleotides designed for Palmer amaranth to sugar beet to measure for any off-target phenotypic effects.