A method for double-stranded RNA-mediated transient gene silencing in Phytophthora infestans

S. C. Whisson, A. O. Avrova, Pieter Van West, J. T. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

81 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Gene silencing, triggered by double-stranded RNA (dsRNA), has proved to be a valuable tool for determining and confirming the function of genes in many organisms. For Phytophthora intestans, the cause of late blight on potato and tomato, gene silencing strategies have relied on stable transformation followed by spontaneous silencing of both the endogenous gene and the transgene. Here we describe the first application of transient gene silencing in P. infestans, by delivering in vitro synthesized dsRNA into protoplasts to trigger silencing. A marker gene, gfp, and two P. infestans genes, inf1 and cdc14, both of which have been silenced previously, were selected to test this strategy. Green fluorescent protein (GFP) fluorescence was reduced in regenerating protoplasts up to 4 days after exposure to gfp dsRNA. A secondary reduction in expression of all genes tested was not fully activated until 12-17 days after introduction of the respective homologous dsRNAs. At this time after exposure to dsRNA, reduced GFP fluorescence in gfp dsRNA-treated lines, and reduced INF1 production in inf1 dsRNA-treated lines, was observed. introduction of dsRNA for the stage-specific gene, cdc14, yielded the expected phenotype of reduced numbers of sporangia when cdc14 expression was significantly reduced compared with control lines. Silencing was shown to be sequence-specific, because analysis of inf1 expression in gfp-silenced lines yielded wild-type levels of gene expression. This report shows that transient gene silencing can be used to generate detectable phenotypes in P. infestans and should provide a high-throughput tool for P. intestans functional genomics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-163
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Plant Pathology
Volume6
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Keywords

  • CAENORHABDITIS-ELEGANS
  • C-ELEGANS
  • PATHOGEN PHYTOPHTHORA
  • DISEASE RESISTANCE
  • OOMYCETE PATHOGEN
  • DNA METHYLATION
  • CYST NEMATODES
  • INTERFERENCE
  • POTATO
  • INFECTION

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