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Non-transgenic Gene Modulation via Spray Delivery of Nucleic Acid/Peptide Complexes into Plant Nuclei and Chloroplasts

Release:Feb 24, 2022 Update:Apr 21, 2022
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Abstract

Genetic engineering of economically important traits in plants is an effective way to improve global welfare. However, introducing foreign DNA molecules into plant genomes to create genetically engineered plants not only requires a lengthy testing period and high developmental costs but also is not well-accepted by the public due to safety concerns about its effects on human and animal health and the environment. Here, we present a high-throughput nucleic acids delivery platform for plants using peptide nanocarriers applied to the leaf surface by spraying. The translocation of sub-micrometer-scale nucleic acid/peptide complexes upon spraying varied depending on the physicochemical characteristics of the peptides and was controlled by a stomata-dependent-uptake mechanism in plant cells. We observed efficient delivery of DNA molecules into plants using cell-penetrating peptide (CPP)-based foliar spraying. Moreover, using foliar spraying, we successfully performed gene silencing by introducing small interfering RNA molecules in plant nuclei via siRNA-CPP complexes and, more importantly, in chloroplasts via our CPP/chloroplast-targeting peptide-mediated delivery system. This technology enables effective nontransgenic engineering of economically important plant traits in agricultural systems.

Article

Title: Non-transgenic gene modulation via spray delivery of nucleic acid/peptide complexes into plant nuclei and chloroplasts

Authors: Chonprakun Thagun, Yoko Horii, Maai Mori, Seiya Fujita, Misato Ohtani, Kousuke Tsuchiya, Yutaka Kodama, Masaki Odahara, Keiji Numata

Publication: ACS Nano

DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.1c07723

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