International Journal of Medicinal Plants Research

International Journal of Medicinal Plants Research ISSN 2169-303X Vol. 10 (2), pp. 001-008, February, 2021. © International Scholars Journals

Review

RNA interference (RNAi) technology: a promising tool for medicinal plant research

J. Francis Borgio

PG and Research Department of Microbiology, St. Joseph’s College (Autonomous), Bangalore - 560027, India. E- mail: borgiomicro@gmail.com. Tel.: +91 9036112696.

Accepted 09 October, 2020

Abstract

RNA interference (RNAi) is a process of dsRNA-mediated gene silencing. This dsRNA-triggered sequence- specific RNA degradation pathway has been termed post-transcriptional gene silencing (PTGS) in plants. RNA interference technology has already had a major impact on the study and manipulation of plant secondary metabolites. To date RNAi has mainly been used as a readily available, rapid, reverse genetic tool to create medicinal plants with novel chemical phenotypes, and to determine the phenotypes of genes responsible for the synthesis of many pharmaceutically important secondary metabolites. This dsRNA- mediated gene silencing system has facilitated the improvement of specific medicinal plants for their greater exploitation to produce commercially valuable, plant-derived drugs, flavoring agents, etc.

Key words: Medicinal plants, RNA interference, post-transcriptional gene silencing, small interfering RNA.