Int J Biol Sci 2014; 10(10):1150-1158. doi:10.7150/ijbs.10452 This issue
1. Department of Horticultural Science, Kyungpook National University, Daegu 702-701, Korea.
2. Institute of Horticultural Sciences, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad 38040, Pakistan.
3. Department of Plant Science, and Plant Genomics and Breeding Institute, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-921, Korea.
RNA interference (RNAi) is a promising gene regulatory approach in functional genomics that has significant impact on crop improvement which permits down-regulation in gene expression with greater precise manner without affecting the expression of other genes. RNAi mechanism is expedited by small molecules of interfering RNA to suppress a gene of interest effectively. RNAi has also been exploited in plants for resistance against pathogens, insect/pest, nematodes, and virus that cause significant economic losses. Keeping beside the significance in the genome integrity maintenance as well as growth and development, RNAi induced gene syntheses are vital in plant stress management. Modifying the genes by the interference of small RNAs is one of the ways through which plants react to the environmental stresses. Hence, investigating the role of small RNAs in regulating gene expression assists the researchers to explore the potentiality of small RNAs in abiotic and biotic stress management. This novel approach opens new avenues for crop improvement by developing disease resistant, abiotic or biotic stress tolerant, and high yielding elite varieties.
Keywords: abiotic stress, biotic stress, crop improvement, functional genomics, post transcriptional gene silencing, siRNA.