Spray induced gene silencing

Last changed: 21 May 2021
Image of scientific poster. Author: Reemana Fatema

Reemana Fatema, Pruthvi Balachandra Kalyandurg & Ramesh Raju Vetukuri, Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree in Plant Breeding


Among the most damaging fungal diseases for crops, Botrytis cinerea and Fusarium graminearum have ranked 2nd and 4th position respectively. F. graminearum is responsible for root and stem rot, vascular wilt, fruit rot, head blight of cereal crops e.g. Wheat, Barley and B. cinerea causes grey mold diseases in horticultural crops such as strawberry, grapes, tomatos etc. To date, chemical fungicides have extensively been used to control post-harvest yield loss in cost of posing threat to human and livestock health. Moreover, fungicides cause environmental pollution and eventually giving rise to fungicide resistant fungal strains. Spray induced gene silencing (SIGS) is based on RNA interference (RNAi) which is a conserved cellular defense mechanism. It is effective control measure owing to sequence specificity thus targeting only genes responsible for pathogen virulence and also considered as non-GM product. Hence, SIGS may receive acceptability from both farmers and consumers. Although it has some limitations due to expensive production cost of synthetic dsRNA and effects of dsRNA in field level is still required to be investigated. Nevertheless, SIGS is an emerging novel technology which can potentially control the diseases effectively without compromising the eco system in a sustainable way.


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Image of scientific poster. Author: Reemana Fatema


About me

Reemana Fatema

While gaining agricultural knowledge at field level in my bachelor studies, it has always been a curiosity to me to know about the molecular game happening inside the plant cell. Having chance to study Master in SLU, it has opened the horizon where I can explore the molecular scientific world. My current Master thesis is intersection of molecular studies and field level trials to control fungal diseases where I can integrate both my agricultural and molecular knowledge. I am also interested to orchestrate my future work in a way which would contribute to sustainable development in crop production and protection. I would love to work with organizations where I could explore application of molecular studies on field level as well as to perceive the experience of agriculture sector.