RNAi Approach: A Powerful Technique for Gene Function Studies and Enhancing Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Crop Plants

  • Ajay Kumar SinghEmail author
  • Mahesh Kumar
  • Deepika Choudhary
  • Lalitkumar Aher
  • Jagadish Rane
  • Narendra Pratap Singh


RNA interference (RNAi) is a versatile tool frequently used for gene function studies in plants. RNAi phenomenon involves small interfering RNA (siRNA) or short hairpin or microRNA (miRNA) to suppress the expression of sequence-specific gene at posttranscriptional or translational level. This technology has been used to study functional relevance of genes, enhancing crop yield, improving nutritional quality, and increasing crop productivity through suppression of expression of genes responsive to abiotic stress, involved in biomass and grain yield. Here, we describe mechanism of RNAi-mediated gene silencing and application of RNAi technique involving siRNA, shRNA, and microRNA for elucidating function of genes responsive to abiotic stress in crops and also for improving abiotic stress tolerance in crop plants.


siRNA- small interfering RNA miRNA- microRNA RNAi- RNA interference Drought stress Salinity stress Abiotic stress tolerance Dicer Argonaute Gene silencing Posttranscriptional gene silencing 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ajay Kumar Singh
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mahesh Kumar
    • 1
  • Deepika Choudhary
    • 1
  • Lalitkumar Aher
    • 1
  • Jagadish Rane
    • 1
  • Narendra Pratap Singh
    • 1
  1. 1.ICAR-National Institute of Abiotic Stress Management, MalegaonBaramatiIndia

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