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A non-canonical RNAi pathway induced by externally applied virus-specific dsRNA in plants

The external application of dsRNAh has recently been developed as a new approach for crop protection. It is assumed that the mechanism of dsRNA-mediated antivirus RNA defence is similar to that of natural RNA interference (RNAi). There is, however, no direct evidence to support this idea. Scientists from the IBCh RAS in collaboration with colleagues from JHI (UK) we carried out the analysis of small RNAs (sRNA) as hallmarks of RNAi induced by potato virus Y (PVY).

In contrast to PVY-induced production of discrete 21 and 22 nt sRNA species, the externally administered PVY dsRNA led to generation of a non-canonical pool of sRNAs, which were present as ladders of ~18-30 nt in length; suggestive of an unexpected sRNA biogenesis. These findings may have significant implications for further developments in dsRNA-mediated crop protection. The results are published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.


december 7, 2023