||Trans-Kingdom RNA Silencing in Plant-Fungal Pathogen Interactions
||Hua Chenlei, Zhao Jian-Hua, and Guo Hui-Shan*.
||Fungal pathogens represent a major group of plant invaders that are the causative agents of many notorious plant diseases. Large quantities of RNAs, especially small RNAs involved in gene silencing, have been found to transmit bidirectionally between fungal pathogens and their hosts. Although host-induced gene silencing (HIGS) technology has been developed and applied to protect crops from fungal infections, the mechanisms of RNA transmission, especially small RNAs regulating trans-kingdom RNA silencing in plant immunity, are largely unknown. In this review, we summarize and discuss recent important findings regarding trans-kingdom sRNAs and RNA silencing in plant-fungal pathogen interactions compared with the well-known RNAi mechanisms in plants and fungi. We focus on the interactions between plant and fungal pathogens with broad hosts, represented by the vascular pathogen Verticillium dahliae and non-vascular pathogen Botrytis cinerea, and discuss the known instances of natural RNAi transmission between fungal pathogens and host plants. Given that HIGS has been developed and recently applied in controlling Verticillium wilt diseases, we propose an ideal research system exploiting plant vasculature-Verticillium interaction to further study trans-kingdom RNA silencing.
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