Transgene-induced RNA interference as a tool for plant functional genomics

Methods Enzymol. 2005;392:1-24. doi: 10.1016/S0076-6879(04)92001-0.


RNA interference (RNAi) is a powerful tool for functional genomics in a number of species. The logistics and procedures for doing high-throughput RNAi to investigate the functions of large numbers of genes in Arabidopsis thaliana and in Zea mays are described. Publicly available plasmid vectors that facilitate the stable chromosomal integration of inverted repeat transgenes that trigger RNAi have been used to generate more than 50 independent transgenic lines each in Arabidopsis and maize. Analysis of mRNA abundance of the targeted genes in independent lines transformed with distinct constructs indicates that the success of RNAi-induced silencing is gene dependent. mRNA levels were not detectably reduced for some genes, but were dramatically reduced for a number of genes targeted. A common pattern was that multiple independent lines transgenic for the same construct showed the same extent of silencing. This chapter describes the procedures used to generate and test transgenic lines mediating RNAi in Arabidopsis and maize.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Genome, Plant*
  • Genomics*
  • RNA Interference*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Transgenes*
  • Zea mays / genetics*