The effectiveness of RNA interference (RNAi) is demonstrated in the lignin-degrading fungus Phanerochaete chrysosporium. The manganese-containing superoxide dismutase gene (MnSOD1) was used as the target for RNAi. The plasmid constructed for gene silencing contained a transcriptional unit for hairpin RNA expression. Significantly lower MnSOD expression at both the mRNA and protein activity levels was detected in RNAi transformants. Furthermore, even though P. chrysosporium possesses three copies of the MnSOD gene, this RNAi construct was sufficient to decrease the enzymatic activity by as much as 70% relative to control levels. Implementation of the RNAi technique in P. chrysosporium provides an alternative genetic tool for studies of gene function, particularly of essential genes or gene families
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