Research ArticlePLANT SCIENCES

Carbon nanocarriers deliver siRNA to intact plant cells for efficient gene knockdown

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Science Advances  24 Jun 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 26, eaaz0495
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaz0495


Posttranscriptional gene silencing (PTGS) is a powerful tool to understand and control plant metabolic pathways, which is central to plant biotechnology. PTGS is commonly accomplished through delivery of small interfering RNA (siRNA) into cells. Standard plant siRNA delivery methods (Agrobacterium and viruses) involve coding siRNA into DNA vectors and are only tractable for certain plant species. Here, we develop a nanotube-based platform for direct delivery of siRNA and show high silencing efficiency in intact plant cells. We demonstrate that nanotubes successfully deliver siRNA and silence endogenous genes, owing to effective intracellular delivery and nanotube-induced protection of siRNA from nuclease degradation. This study establishes that nanotubes could enable a myriad of plant biotechnology applications that rely on RNA delivery to intact cells.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

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