Efficient Binding, Protection, and Self-Release of dsRNA in Soil by Linear and Star Cationic Polymers

Richard Whitfield, Athina Anastasaki, Nghia P. Truong, Alexander B. Cook, Marta Omedes-Pujol, Vanessa Loczenski Rose, Tuan A.H. Nguyen, James A. Burns, Sébastien Perrier, Thomas P. Davis, David M. Haddleton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Double stranded RNA (dsRNA) exhibits severe degradation within 3 days in live soil, limiting its potential application in crop protection. Herein we report the efficient binding, protection, and self-release of dsRNA in live soil through the usage of a cationic polymer. Soil stability assays show that linear poly(2-(dimethylamino)ethyl acrylate) can delay the degradation of dsRNA by up to 1 week while the star shaped analogue showed an increased stabilization of dsRNA by up to 3 weeks. Thus, the architecture of the polymer can significantly affect the lifetime of dsRNA in soil. In addition, the hydrolysis and dsRNA binding and release profiles of these polymers were carefully evaluated and discussed. Importantly, hydrolysis could occur independently of environmental conditions (e.g., different pH, different temperature) showing the potential for many opportunities in agrochemicals where protection and subsequent self-release of dsRNA in live soil is required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)909-915
Number of pages7
JournalACS Macro Letters
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 21 Aug 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Financial support by the University of Warwick, the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Convergent BioNano Science and Technology (Project Number CE140100036), and Syngenta are gratefully acknowledged. A.A acknowledges the European Union for a global Marie Curie Fellowship. N.P.T. acknowledges the award of a DECRA Fellowship from the Australian Research Council (DE180100076). T.A.H.N acknowledges an Early Career Researcher Grant (UQECR1720169) and the University of Queensland’s Research Computing Centre (RCC) for its support in this research. S.P. acknowledges the Royal Society for a Wolfson Merit Award (WM130055).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 American Chemical Society.


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