The nucleotide sequences of several animal, plant and bacterial genomes are now known, but the functions of many of the proteins that they are predicted to encode remain unclear. RNA interference is a gene-silencing technology that is being used successfully to investigate gene function in several organisms--for example, Caenorhabditis elegans. We discuss here that RNA-induced gene silencing approaches are also likely to be effective for investigating plant gene function in a high-throughput, genome-wide manner.
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