Targeting Fungal Genes by Diced siRNAs: A Rapid Tool to Decipher Gene Function in Aspergillus nidulansReportar como inadecuado

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Gene silencing triggered by chemically synthesized small interfering RNAs siRNAs has become a powerful tool for deciphering gene function in many eukaryotes. However, prediction and validation of a single siRNA duplex specific to a target gene is often ineffective. RNA interference RNAi with synthetic siRNA suffers from lower silencing efficacy, off-target effects and is cost-intensive, especially for functional genomic studies. With the explosion of fungal genomic information, there is an increasing need to analyze gene function in a rapid manner. Therefore, studies were performed in order to investigate the efficacy of gene silencing induced by RNase III-diced-siRNAs d-siRNA in model filamentous fungus, Aspergillus nidulans.

Methodology-Principal Findings

Stable expression of heterologous reporter gene in A. nidulans eases the examination of a new RNAi-induction route. Hence, we have optimized Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation AMT of A. nidulans for stable expression of sGFP gene. This study demonstrates that the reporter GFP gene stably introduced into A. nidulans can be effectively silenced by treatment of GFP-d-siRNAs. We have shown the down-regulation of two endogenous genes, AnrasA and AnrasB of A. nidulans by d-siRNAs. We have also elucidated the function of an uncharacterized Ras homolog, rasB gene, which was found to be involved in hyphal growth and development. Further, silencing potency of d-siRNA was higher as compared to synthetic siRNA duplex, targeting AnrasA. Silencing was shown to be sequence-specific, since expression profiles of other closely related Ras family genes in d-siRNA treated AnrasA and AnrasB silenced lines exhibited no change in gene expression.


We have developed and applied a fast, specific and efficient gene silencing approach for elucidating gene function in A. nidulans using d-siRNAs. We have also optimized an efficient AMT in A. nidulans, which is useful for stable integration of transgenes.

Autor: Natarajaswamy Kalleda, Aruna Naorem, Rajam V. Manchikatla



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