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In plants, non-cell autonomous RNA silencing spreads between cells and over long distances. Recent work has revealed insight on the genetic and molecular components essential for cell-to-cell movement of RNA silencing in Arabidopsis. Using a local RNA silencing assay, we report on a distinct mechanism that may govern the short-range (6-10 cell) trafficking of virus-induced RNA silencing from epidermal to neighbouring palisade and spongy parenchyma cells in Nicotiana benthamiana. This process involves a previously unrecognised function of the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase 6 (RDR6) gene. Our data suggest that plants may have evolved distinct genetic controls in intercellular RNA silencing among different types of cells.

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Sci Rep

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Carmovirus, Gene Expression Regulation, Plant, Green Fluorescent Proteins, Microscopy, Confocal, Mutation, Plant Leaves, Plant Proteins, RNA Interference, RNA Transport, RNA, Plant, RNA, Viral, RNA-Directed DNA Polymerase, Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction, Tobacco