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Crop Biotech Update

Chinese Scientists Control Verticillium dahliae Wilt Using Gene Technology

October 12, 2016

Scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences used gene silencing technology to control Verticillium dahliae, a major fungal pathogen of cotton. The results are published in Nature Plants.

Findings showed that cotton plants infected with V. dahliae boost production of two microRNAs and export both to the fungal hyphae for specific silencing. The researchers found two V. dahliae genes targeted by the two microRNAs that are vital for fungal virulence. V. dahliae strains expressing either of the genes showed resistance to the respective microRNA exhibited drastically enhanced virulence in cotton plants.

Read more in Nature Plants.