Strategy for Generic Resistance Against Begomoviruses Through RNAi
RNA interference (RNAi) is a natural gene regulatory mechanism that limits gene expression either by suppressing transcription (transcriptional gene silencing) or by promoting the sequence-specific mRNA degradation (posttranscriptional gene silencing). RNAi utilizes dsRNA molecule along with a group of proteins consisting of Argonaute (AGO), Dicer, and few RISC-associated proteins for generation of small noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs), i.e., microRNA (miRNA) and small interfering RNA (siRNA) of 21–23 nt in length which actually bind with target mRNA and regulate their gene expression. However, there is a slight difference in their mechanism of action; for instance, miRNA partially binds to target mRNA and mainly results in translational suppression, while siRNA shows complete complementarity to putative mRNA and cleaves it resulting in gene silencing. With growing evidence every day, one of the important functions of RNAi in molecular biology seems to be protection of host genome against viruses. In case of plant viruses, begomoviruses impose a serious threat to mankind as they infect several crops like tomato, cotton, papaya, etc. leading to huge economic losses. Though several physical, chemical, and transgenic strategies are in practice to provide resistance against begomoviruses, none of them have proved out to be successful. Here we propose a strategy to develop generic resistance against begomoviruses by generating small siRNAs using various in silico strategies.
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