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Curr Opin Microbiol. 2008 Dec;11(6):494-502. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2008.10.001. Epub 2008 Nov 3.

RNA interference: roles in fungal biology.

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  • 1Laboratory of Plant Pathology, Kobe University, 1-1 Rokkodai-cho, Nada-ku, Kobe 657-8501, Japan. hnakaya@kobe-u.ac.jp


The discovery of RNA interference (RNAi) has been the major recent breakthrough in biology. Only a few years after its discovery, RNAi has rapidly become a powerful reverse genetic tool, especially in organisms where gene targeting is inefficient and/or time-consuming. In filamentous fungi, RNAi is not currently used as widely as is gene targeting by homologous recombination that works with practical efficiencies in most model fungal species. However, to explore gene function in filamentous fungi, RNAi has the potential to offer new, efficient tools that gene disruption methods cannot provide. In this review, possible advantages and disadvantages of RNAi for fungal biology in the postgenomics era will be discussed. In addition, we will briefly review recent discoveries on RNAi-related biological phenomena (RNA silencing) in fungi.

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