RNAi is triggered by double-strand RNA that is homologous with the target gene. It refers to the lilencing of the meditated specific gene in post transcriptional level,which is a general phenomenon in animals and plants.A lot of researches have been applied to demonstrate it as a reserved mechanism for gene regulation in animals, plants and fungi. And it is critical in the developing processes of organisms to protect them from invasion by both exogenous (eg. viruses) and endogenous (eg. mobile genetic elements) genetic parasites. It has now become a focus in the biological research and had been proved as a powerful tool in functional genomics, genetics and medical study these years. Here, the current state of knowledge regarding the mechanistic bases of RNAi and its applications in plant genetic improvement will be summarized.
Journal of Huazhong Agricultural University