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Nucleic Acids Res. 2003 Nov 15;31(22):6619-23.

Silencing of Toll pathway components by direct injection of double-stranded RNA into Drosophila adult flies.

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  • 1UPR 9022 du Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Institut de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire, 15 rue René Descartes, F-67084 Strasbourg Cedex, France.


Double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) gene interference is an efficient method to silence gene expression in a sequence-specific manner. Here we show that the direct injection of dsRNA can be used in adult Drosophila flies to disrupt function of endogenous genes in vivo. As a proof of principle, we have used this method to silence components of a major signaling cascade, the Toll pathway, which controls fruit fly resistance to fungal and Gram-positive bacterial infections. We demonstrate that the knockout is efficient only if dsRNA is injected in 4- or more day-old flies and that it lasts for at least 1 week. Furthermore, we report dsRNA-based epistatic gene analysis via injection of a mixture of two dsRNAs and propose that injection of dsRNA represents a powerful method for rapid functional analysis of genes in Drosophila melanogaster adults, particularly of those whose mutations are lethal during development.

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