Submitted to: Transgenic Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/26/2007
Publication Date: 12/1/2007
Citation: Fu, D., Uauy, C., Blechl, A.E., Dubcovsky, J. 2007. RNA interference for wheat functional gene analysis. Transgenic Research. 16:689-701. Interpretive Summary: This review article summarizes progress in the use of RNA interference (RNAi) to decrease expression of wheat genes that are important for yield and its food uses. It includes discussion of some of the parameters needed for design of effective constructions. In some cases, a high degree of specificity is desired so that only one member of a gene family is targeted, but in other cases, the expression of several related genes can be decreased in the same experiment. The review serves a useful guide to what has been done and what can be done to apply this technology to the discovery of genes that control key traits of wheat.
Technical Abstract: RNA interference (RNAi) refers to a common mechanism of RNA-based post-transcriptional gene silencing in eukaryotic cells. In model plant species such as Arabidopsis and rice, RNAi has been routinely used to characterize gene function and to engineer novel phenotypes. In polyploid species, this approach is in its early stages, but has great potential since multiple homoeologous copies can be simultaneously silenced with a single RNAi construct. In this article, we discuss the utilization of RNAi in wheat functional gene analysis and its effect on transcript regulation of homoeologous genes. We also review recent examples of RNAi modification of important agronomic and quality traits in wheat and discuss future directions for this technology.