The Function of RNA Interference (RNAi) in Crop Enhancement- Mechanism and Applications: A Review

Harmanpreet Kaur

Department of Genetics & Plant Breeding, School of Agriculture, Lovely Professional University, Phagwara-144411, Punjab, India.

Nilesh Talekar *

Department of Genetics & Plant Breeding, School of Agriculture, Lovely Professional University, Phagwara-144411, Punjab, India.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


RNA interference (RNAi) is a conserved molecular mechanism that plays a critical role in post-transcriptional gene silencing across diverse organisms. This review delves into the role of RNAi in plant functional genomics and its applications in crop improvement, highlighting its mechanistic insights and practical implications. The overview starts with the fundamental finding of the mechanism of RNAi, following its journey from petunias to its ubiquitous presence in a wide range of species. The discovery of several kinds of regulatory non-coding small RNAs, including as phasiRNAs, miRNAs, and siRNAs, has broadened our knowledge of RNAi-mediated gene regulation beyond what is previously thought. These RNA types have an impact on gene expression through complex post-transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms. RNA interference (RNAi) has become a potent tool for comprehending gene activities in the context of crop improvement. It has shown to be useful in determining the functions of genes for metabolic pathways, stress tolerance, and more. Furthermore, RNAi-based strategies have potential for sustainable agriculture and integrated pest management, supporting international efforts to ensure food security. The many uses of RNA interference (RNAi) are covered in this article, including improving crop nutrition, changing plant architecture, and increasing shelf life. The challenges and future prospects of RNAi technology are also explored. The worldwide geography of RNA interference research is emphasized, with notable contributions from North America, Europe, and China. In conclusion, RNA interference (RNAi) continues to be a flexible and essential tool in contemporary plant research, providing new pathways for understanding gene activities and enhancing crop characteristics. Its combination with other biotechnological techniques, such as gene editing, might influence how agriculture and sustainable food production develop in the future.

Keywords: RNA interference, plant functional genomics, Non-coding small RNAs, crop improvement, gene expression, sustainable agriculture, biotechnological techniques

How to Cite

Kaur, H., & Talekar, N. (2024). The Function of RNA Interference (RNAi) in Crop Enhancement- Mechanism and Applications: A Review. Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, 46(6), 351–370.


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