Artificial MicroRNAs for Specific Gene Silencing in Rice
Artificial microRNAs (amiRNAs) have been shown to facilitate efficient gene silencing with high specificity to the intended target gene(s). For the plant breeder, gene silencing by artificial miRNAs will certainly accelerate gene discovery, because it allows targeting of all genes in a mapping interval, independent of the genetic background. In addition, beneficial knockout phenotypes can easily be transferred between varieties and across incompatibility barriers. This chapter describes the generation and application of amiRNAs as a gene silencing tool in rice.
Key wordsGene silencing miRNA Hairpin Loss-of-function Phenotypic complementation
We thank Hao Chen and Philippe Hervé, who generated and evaluated the first transgenic rice plants (Nipponbare and IR64) carrying aMIRNA transgenes at the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines (IRRI). Markus Riester contributed to earlier versions of WMD and Joffrey Fitz codeveloped AmiRNA/WMD3; we are further thankful to everybody who contributed by sharing technical expertise and discussion, namely, Alexis Maizel, Javier Palatnik, Heike Wollmann, and Wolfgang Busch. Work on small RNAs in the Weigel laboratory is supported by European Community FP6 IP SIROCCO (contract LSHG-CT-2006-037900) and by the Max Planck Society.