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Mol Biotechnol. 2013 Sep;55(1):63-77. doi: 10.1007/s12033-012-9615-7.

Recent advances in plant-virus interaction with emphasis on small interfering RNAs (siRNAs).

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National Institute of Plant Genome Research-NIPGR, Aruna Asaf Ali Marg, JNU Campus, New Delhi 110067, India.


Regulation of several biological functions in plants has now been known to involve diverse RNA silencing pathways. These vital pathways involve various components such as dsRNA, Dicer, RNA-dependent RNA polymerase and Argonaute proteins, which lead to the production of several small RNAs (sRNAs) varying in their sizes. These sRNAs have significant role in the regulation of gene expression at transcriptional and translational levels. Among them, small interfering RNAs (siRNAs; majorly 21, 22 and 24 nt) have been shown to play an important role in plants' resistance against many viruses by inhibiting the viral gene expression. Furthermore, it has also been highlighted that siRNA-mediated methylation of viral DNA confers resistance to various plant DNA viruses. In this review, we have outlined the recent advances made using the siRNA-mediated antiviral strategy, along with methylation-based epigenetic defensive mechanisms as a protective measure against diverse plant viruses.

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