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Artificial microRNA (amiRNA) induced gene silencing in alfalfa (Medicago sativa)
- Verdonk, Julian C., Sullivan, Michael L.
- Botany 2012 v.91 no.2 pp. 117
- Arabidopsis thaliana, Medicago sativa, alfalfa, beta-glucuronidase, forage crops, gene expression, gene silencing, gene targeting, genes, microRNA, nucleotide sequences, rice, transcription (genetics)
- Gene silencing is a powerful technique that allows the study of the function of specific genes by selectively reducing their transcription. Several different approaches can be used, however they all have in common the artificial generation of single stranded small ribonucleic acids (RNAs) that are utilized by the endogenous gene silencing machinery of the organism. Artificial microRNAs (amiRNA) can be used to very specifically target genes for silencing because only a short sequence of 21 nucleotides of the gene of interest is used. Gene silencing via amiRNA has been developed for Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh. and rice using endogenous microRNA (miRNA) precursors and has been shown to also work effectively in other dicot species using the arabidopsis miRNA precursor. Here, we demonstrate that the arabidopsis miR319 precursor can be used to silence genes in the important forage crop species alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) by silencing the expression of a transgenic beta-glucuronidase (GUSPlus) target gene.