09-23 – Enhanced Non-endogenous siRNA Molecules and Strategy for Plant Protection

With annual production losses due to soybean cyst nematode alone soaring above $400 million in the U.S., new discoveries for plant protection is of most importance. Past research, as covered in the recently awarded Patent #7,803,984, demonstrates that producing small interfering RNA (siRNA) molecules with homology to specific nematode genes in plants can cause a reduction in nematodes and their progeny. Recently, further research has led to the discovery of both a method to enhance non-endogenous siRNA molecules in plants, as well as the identification of five target genes involved in the reproduction and fitness of a nematode. Our method over-expresses either in part or full target sequences to include at least the fragment used for the RNAi hairpin together with the RNAi hairpin in the same vector. This up-regulation in both the concentration and number of individual molecule species of siRNA increases absorption of pathogenic fungus giving rise to increased plant protection. Our method also consists of enhancement through multiple targets in one construct or in a chimerical construct providing greater potential effect on the parasite or pathogen control. Lindsay Biggs-Gragg biggsl@ksu.edu 785-395-0901

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