A Big Breakthrough in Fungicide Market: Discovery of RNA-Binding Protein might Facilitate Eco-Friendly Fungicide
For decades, scientists have been aware of the fact that biological cells produce tiny, round structures known as extracellular vesicles. However, their essential role in establishing communication between invading microorganisms and their hosts was found only a while ago.
Researchers have discovered that plants take advantage of vesicles by launching RNA molecules at fungal invaders. This helps them in suppressing the genes that make the fungi dangerous. These vesicles, which behave like tiny Trojan horses with arms concealed within, shuttle small RNAs between cells and silence pathogenic fungal gene expression. Using extracellular vesicles and small RNAs instead of standard fungicides has many advantages. Since they are similar to naturally occurring materials, they are more environmentally friendly. They degrade over time and don't leave harmful residues in the soil.
A research team that had been working towards gene-silencing RNA fungicide has now identified several RNA-binding proteins in Arabidopsis that help in binding particular small RNA molecules, and they load the same into extracellular vesicles. This study is an important development in Fungicide Market as it reports that proteins are a key player in the loading and stabilizing of RNAs in the vesicles. This new discovery might contribute towards increasing the production of gene - silencing RNAs that are loaded into the vesicles and augment the efficiency of disease control.
Using extracellular vesicles and small RNAs instead of standard fungicides has many advantages. Since they are similar to naturally occurring materials, they are more environment friendly. They degrade over time and don't leave harmful residues in the soil. This method of battling fungi is also less likely to breed drug-resistant pathogens, according to Jin. Scientists have struggled to load their desired small RNAs into the vesicles, which has been a stumbling block in the development of these fungicides.
Scientists have been inspired by RNA communication in plant vesicles for humans. Some have even attempted to load anti-cancer RNAs and drugs into extracellular vesicles in vegetables and fruits so that they can be ingested. The new breakthrough made by the research team might make these attempts into reality soon.
For several years, the team has been investing its resources in the development of gene-silencing RNA fungicides. In 2013, they discovered that host immunity could be suppressed by sending gene-silencing RNA fungicides from the fungal pathogen into the plant host. In coming years, they also found that RNAs have the ability to move both ways, i.e., they can move from plants into pathogenic invader cells as well.
The team encountered another big revelation in 2018, and wherein they worked out that extracellular vesicles were seen as the major delivery systems for small RNAs. They also noted that Arabidopsis plants produce extracellular vesicles into Botrytis cinerea (a type of fungus that causes grey mold disease and is responsible for destroying millions of crops every year).
All these contributions by the researchers over the years have led to great developments in gene silencing RNA, and now it might also bring a great boost for the Fungicide Market.
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