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Science. 2001 Jun 22;292(5525):2277-80.

RNA silencing in plants--defense and counterdefense.

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  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208, USA.


RNA silencing is a remarkable type of gene regulation based on sequence-specific targeting and degradation of RNA. The term encompasses related pathways found in a broad range of eukaryotic organisms, including fungi, plants, and animals. In plants, it serves as an antiviral defense, and many plant viruses encode suppressors of silencing. The emerging view is that RNA silencing is part of a sophisticated network of interconnected pathways for cellular defense, RNA surveillance, and development and that it may become a powerful tool to manipulate gene expression experimentally.

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