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Appl Biochem Biotechnol. 2013 Mar;169(5):1579-605. doi: 10.1007/s12010-012-0046-5. Epub 2013 Jan 17.

Advances in RNA interference technology and its impact on nutritional improvement, disease and insect control in plants.

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Biochemistry Laboratory, Department of Crop Improvement, College of Agriculture, CSK Himachal Pradesh Krishi Vishvavidyalaya, Palampur, India 176062.


This review highlights the advances in the knowledge of RNA interference (RNAi) and discusses recent progress on the functionality of different components RNAi machinery operating in the organisms. The silencing of genes by RNA interference has become the technology of choice for investigation of gene functions in different organisms. The refinement in the knowledge of the endogenous RNAi pathways in plants along with the development of new strategies and applications for the improvement of nutritional value of important agricultural crops through suppression of genes in different plants have opened new vistas for nutritional security. The improvement in the nutritional status of the plants and reduction in the level of toxins or antinutrients was desired for long, but the available technology was not completely successful in achieving the tissue specific regulation of some genes. In the recent years, a number of economically important crop plants have been tested successfully for improving plant nutritional value through metabolic engineering using RNAi. The implications of this technology for crop improvement programs, including nutritional enrichment, reduction of antinutrients, disease, and insect control have been successfully tested in variety of crops with commercial considerations. The enhancement of the nutraceutical traits for the desired health benefits in common crop plants through manipulation of gene expression has been elaborated in this article. The tremendous potential with RNAi technology is expected to revolutionize the modern agriculture for meeting the growing challenges is discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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