Dr. Jonatan Niño-Sánchez. Universidad de Valladolid
“Improving Spray-Inducing Gene Silencing (SIGS) technique by the use of organic and inorganic nanoparticles”
Fungal pathogens are a major threat to global food security, and current management strategies are limited to mainly chemical control, which is harmful to human health and the environment. Therefore, innovative, eco-friendly strategies for combating fungal pathogens must be developed. Recent advances have shown that Spray-Induced Gene Silencing (SIGS) via topical application of pathogen gene-targeting RNAs can inhibit plant diseases caused by fungal pathogens that can effectively take up RNAs from the environment. These antifungal RNAs can be versatility designed to be species-specific and to target
multiple genes simultaneously. Though promising, a major drawback to SIGS technique is the instability of RNA in the environment, which can be rapidly degraded when exposed to rainfall, high humidity, and UV light. We therefore developed several approaches using nanotechnology to overcome this limitation in order to adopt SIGS as an alternative to traditional fungicides.
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