The interaction of fungi with the environment orchestrated by RNAi

J Manuel Villalobos-EscobedoNohemi Carreras-Villaseñor


The fungal kingdom has been key in the investigation of the biogenesis and function of small RNAs (sRNAs). The discovery of phenomena such as quelling in Neurospora crassa represents pioneering work in the identification of the main elements of the RNA interference (RNAi) machinery. Recent discoveries in the regulatory mechanisms in some yeast and filamentous fungi are helping us reach a deeper understanding of the transcriptional and post-transcriptional gene-silencing mechanisms involved in genome protection against viral infections, DNA damage and transposon activity. Although most of these mechanisms are reasonably well understood, their role in the physiology, response to the environment and interaction of fungi with other organisms had remained elusive. Nevertheless, studies in fungi such as Mucor circinelloides, Magnaporthe oryzae, Cryptococcus neoformans, Trichoderma atroviride, Botrytis cinerea and others have started to shed light on the relevance of the RNAi pathway. In these fungi gene regulation by RNAi is important for growth, reproduction, control of viral infections and transposon activity, as well as in the development of antibiotic resistance and interactions with their hosts. Moreover, the increasing number o...Continue Reading


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