Agriculture is currently facing numerous challenges: the rapid rise of the world population, the consequent growth in food demand, the global decrease in crop yield. Particularly regarding the last issue, climate change is worsening the environmental stresses that commonly affect crops, and the use of resources – such as fertilizers and pesticides – is highly inefficient and pollutant. In this context, research is looking for new approaches to improve crop productivity by more efficient and environmentally friendly practices. It has been shown that nanomaterials are suitable for the development of cutting-edge technologies with the aim of improving the delivery of bioactive substances on plants and to promote their resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses. Among organic polymers, chitosan, if used in the nanoscale form, shows both properties; it can induce biological responses concerning plant defense against diseases and pathogen attack, and it is particularly suitable as a carrier for several molecules. Another innovative method for the defense of crops is the exploitation of the spray-induced gene silencing (SIGS) based on the activation of the so-called RNA-interference (RNAi). It involves exogenous double stranded RNAs (dsRNAs) targeting an essential pathogen gene, which trigger the RNAi pathway leading to the translational repression by degradation of target homologous mRNAs. In our case, the research aimed to verify the feasibility of dsRNA distribution on plant surface by means of functionalized chitosan nanoparticles (CH-NPs), thus allowing the protection of the doping agent and its efficient delivery. Here we show the preliminary results regarding the characterization of CH-NPs, their loading with dsRNAs and their interaction with the leaf surface of Nicotiana benthamiana plants. The effects of the dose-dependent distribution were analyzed by confocal microscopy upon incorporation of a fluorescent probe.

Chitosan nanocarriers-mediated delivery of double-stranded RNA "in planta"

Dora Scarpin
Primo
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
Loredana Moffa
Investigation
;
Francesca D’Este
Resources
;
Marco Vuerich
Investigation
;
Antonio Filippi
Investigation
;
Enrico Braidot
Supervision
;
Elisa Petrussa
Ultimo
Supervision
2022

Abstract

Agriculture is currently facing numerous challenges: the rapid rise of the world population, the consequent growth in food demand, the global decrease in crop yield. Particularly regarding the last issue, climate change is worsening the environmental stresses that commonly affect crops, and the use of resources – such as fertilizers and pesticides – is highly inefficient and pollutant. In this context, research is looking for new approaches to improve crop productivity by more efficient and environmentally friendly practices. It has been shown that nanomaterials are suitable for the development of cutting-edge technologies with the aim of improving the delivery of bioactive substances on plants and to promote their resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses. Among organic polymers, chitosan, if used in the nanoscale form, shows both properties; it can induce biological responses concerning plant defense against diseases and pathogen attack, and it is particularly suitable as a carrier for several molecules. Another innovative method for the defense of crops is the exploitation of the spray-induced gene silencing (SIGS) based on the activation of the so-called RNA-interference (RNAi). It involves exogenous double stranded RNAs (dsRNAs) targeting an essential pathogen gene, which trigger the RNAi pathway leading to the translational repression by degradation of target homologous mRNAs. In our case, the research aimed to verify the feasibility of dsRNA distribution on plant surface by means of functionalized chitosan nanoparticles (CH-NPs), thus allowing the protection of the doping agent and its efficient delivery. Here we show the preliminary results regarding the characterization of CH-NPs, their loading with dsRNAs and their interaction with the leaf surface of Nicotiana benthamiana plants. The effects of the dose-dependent distribution were analyzed by confocal microscopy upon incorporation of a fluorescent probe.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11390/1229404
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