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Article

RNA Interference Strategies for Future Management of Plant Pathogenic Fungi: Prospects and Challenges

1
Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences (DISTAL), University of Bologna, viale Fanin 44, 40126 Bologna, Italy
2
Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR), P.O. Box 2003, Addis Ababa 1000, Ethiopia
3
Department of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences, Marche Polytechnic University, 60131 Ancona, Italy
4
Research Group on Food, Nutritional Biochemistry and Health, Universidad Europea del Atlántico, 39011 Santander, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Alexandra S. Dubrovina
Plants 2021, 10(4), 650; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10040650
Received: 4 March 2021 / Revised: 24 March 2021 / Accepted: 25 March 2021 / Published: 29 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue External RNA Application for Gene Regulation and Plant Resistance)
Plant pathogenic fungi are the largest group of disease-causing agents on crop plants and represent a persistent and significant threat to agriculture worldwide. Conventional approaches based on the use of pesticides raise social concern for the impact on the environment and human health and alternative control methods are urgently needed. The rapid improvement and extensive implementation of RNA interference (RNAi) technology for various model and non-model organisms has provided the initial framework to adapt this post-transcriptional gene silencing technology for the management of fungal pathogens. Recent studies showed that the exogenous application of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) molecules on plants targeting fungal growth and virulence-related genes provided disease attenuation of pathogens like Botrytis cinerea, Sclerotinia sclerotiorum and Fusarium graminearum in different hosts. Such results highlight that the exogenous RNAi holds great potential for RNAi-mediated plant pathogenic fungal disease control. Production of dsRNA can be possible by using either in-vitro or in-vivo synthesis. In this review, we describe exogenous RNAi involved in plant pathogenic fungi and discuss dsRNA production, formulation, and RNAi delivery methods. Potential challenges that are faced while developing a RNAi strategy for fungal pathogens, such as off-target and epigenetic effects, with their possible solutions are also discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: RNA interference; dsRNA delivery; small RNA production; dsRNA formulation RNA interference; dsRNA delivery; small RNA production; dsRNA formulation
MDPI and ACS Style

Gebremichael, D.E.; Haile, Z.M.; Negrini, F.; Sabbadini, S.; Capriotti, L.; Mezzetti, B.; Baraldi, E. RNA Interference Strategies for Future Management of Plant Pathogenic Fungi: Prospects and Challenges. Plants 2021, 10, 650. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10040650

AMA Style

Gebremichael DE, Haile ZM, Negrini F, Sabbadini S, Capriotti L, Mezzetti B, Baraldi E. RNA Interference Strategies for Future Management of Plant Pathogenic Fungi: Prospects and Challenges. Plants. 2021; 10(4):650. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10040650

Chicago/Turabian Style

Gebremichael, Daniel E., Zeraye M. Haile, Francesca Negrini, Silvia Sabbadini, Luca Capriotti, Bruno Mezzetti, and Elena Baraldi. 2021. "RNA Interference Strategies for Future Management of Plant Pathogenic Fungi: Prospects and Challenges" Plants 10, no. 4: 650. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10040650

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