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FEBS Lett. 2005 Oct 31;579(26):5950-7. Epub 2005 Aug 24.

RNA silencing in fungi: mechanisms and applications.

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  • 1Laboratory of Plant Pathology, Kobe University, 1-1, Rokkodai-cho, Nada-ku, Kobe 657-8501, Japan.


Two RNA silencing-related phenomena, quelling and meiotic silencing by unpaired DNA (MSUD) have been identified in the fungus Neurospora crassa. Similar to the case with the siRNA and miRNA pathways in Drosophila, different sets of protein components including RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, argonaute and dicer, are used in the quelling and MSUD pathways. Orthologs of the RNA silencing components are found in most, but not all, fungal genomes currently available in the public databases, indicating that the majority of fungi possess the silencing machinery. Advantage and disadvantage of RNA silencing as a tool to explore gene function in fungi are discussed.

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