Engineering novel traits in plants through RNA interference

Trends Plant Sci. 2006 Nov;11(11):559-65. doi: 10.1016/j.tplants.2006.09.010. Epub 2006 Oct 9.


RNA interference (RNAi) is a homology-dependent gene silencing technology that involves double-stranded RNA directed against a target gene or its promoter region. Using hairpin constructs, double-stranded RNA can be expressed in plants relatively easily, enabling this technology to be applied to a wide range of species to silence the expression of both specific endogenous genes and genes of invading pathogens. RNAi has also been used to engineer metabolic pathways to overproduce secondary products with health, yield or environmental benefits. The application of tissue-specific or inducible gene silencing, with the use of appropriate promoters, and the ability to silence several genes simultaneously should enhance our ability to create novel traits in plants.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant*
  • Genetic Engineering / methods*
  • Plants / genetics*
  • Plants / metabolism*
  • RNA Interference*