A Graffitical Tool for Induction of RNAi and Genome Editing in Planta

Salle de séminaires Léon Hirth + visio - 9h15

Dr Veli Vural USLU, Epigenetics Department, AgroScience GmbH, Neustadt an der Weinstrasse, Allemagne, invité par Y. Dong


The presence of cell wall hinders direct delivery of exogenous RNA (exoRNA) molecules into intact plants. High Pressure Spraying Technique (HPST), a tool used by Graffiti artists on concrete walls, pave the way to cargo various types of exoRNAs through the cell wall for triggering RNAi or genome editing. RNAi inducing constructs or transgenes  expressing hairpin RNAs, inverted repeats or artificial microRNAs are all processed into a plethora of small RNAs (sRNAs), which undermine any attempt to allocate specific roles to discrete sRNAs. On the contrary, HPST enables very efficient and reproducible introduction of distinct exogenous RNAs to explore their downstream role in RNAi in planta. In Nicotianabenthamiana using HPST, we showed that 22nt siRNAs do not cleave the target RNA but rather recruit RNA dependent RNA polymerase 6 (RDR6) for triggering transitive silencing. Moreover, we could also demonstrate that the 22nt siRNA target site is critical for the efficiency of RDR6 recruitment. Beyond elucidating of novel mechanisms in RNAi by HPST, exogenous mRNA and ribonucleoprotein delivery by HPST is a promising tool for DNA-free and tissue culture free genome editing. In this seminar, I will describe the wide range of HPST applications together with the molecular aspects underlying RNAi revealed by HPST.



Dr. Veli Vural Uslu

Head of the Epigenetics Department at AgroScience GmbH – Plant Research Institute

The founder and director of the TAP PhD Theater in Heidelberg

The winner of FameLab in Germany and the second place in the world finals. Currently teaching science communication to PhD students and academics across Europe (www.scicomhd.com)


->PhD, Jeff Schell’s Darwin Trust Fellowship, Francois Spitz lab, EMBL-Heidelberg.

->Postdoc, EMBO Long Term Fellowship, Rüdiger Hell lab, Uni-Heidelberg.

->Project Leader, AgroScience Plant Research Institute.


Selected publications:

Uslu@, et al., High‐pressure sprayed siRNAs influence the efficiency but not the profile of transitive silencing, The plant journal, 2021. (@correspondence)

Uslu and Wassenegger, Critical view on RNA silencing-mediated virus resistance using exogenously applied RNA, Current Opinion in Virology, 2020.

Bahr, Paleske, Uslu*, et al., A Myc enhancer cluster regulates normal and leukaemic haematopoietic stem cell hierarchies, Nature, 2018. (*co-first author)

Uslu and Grossmann, The biosensor toolbox for plant developmental biology, Current opinion in plant biology, 2016.

Uslu, et al., Long-range enhancers regulating Myc expression are required for normal facial morphogenesis, Nature Genetics, 2014.