About this Research Topic
As stated by the United Nation’s millennium goals, one of the biggest future challenges for humanity is the reduction of hunger by the year 2030. According to specialists, the only way to reach this goal is to increase drastically the food production capacity to be able to feed the 8.3 billion people expected at this date. Crop protection is, therefore, crucial to achieving this goal by maximizing yield while adapting to a constantly changing climate and the emergence of virulent pathogens. The expected increase of synthetic pesticides and fungicides usage will impact considerably on the ecosystems. Therefore the development of environmentally-friendly pesticides targeting pathogens in a more specific way is urgently needed. Approaches based on the use of nucleic acids triggering RNA silencing in pathogens in a sequence-specific manner are very promising and few preliminary works reported efficient protection of crops. One method called spray-induced gene silencing (SIGS) is of particular interest. However, additional studies covering all aspects of exogenous application of nucleic acids to protect plants still have to be developed and discussed.
In this Research Topic we welcome submissions that could advance the development of this new type of pesticide considered environmentally-friendly.
Contributions to the following themes are particularly encouraged:
• Case studies on bidirectional cross-kingdom RNA- or small RNA-based mechanisms in plant-pathogen or plant-parasite interactions.
• Case studies on cross-kingdom RNA- or small RNA-based mechanisms in tri-partite interactions (plant-pathogen1-pathogen2).
• Studies about formulation or emulsions to use for spraying siRNAs or other types of RNA on crops or model plants.
• Studies about the legislative aspects covering the use of encapsulated or naked nucleic acids in plant protection.
• Environmental RNAi studies.
Studies describing transgenic plants expressing dsRNA or any other type of RNA or also known as Host-induced gene silencing (HIGS) will not be considered and would rather be proposed to other Research Topics in plant-microbe interactions.
Keywords: RNA, Small RNA, Pests, Parasites, Formulations, Fungicides, Pesticides, RNA interference, RNA silencing
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.