Master in Plant Sciences

Genome engineering and interfering RNAs

Genome engineering and interfering RNAs

Université Paris-Saclay and Université Paris Cité common Teaching Unit



Christine LELANDAIS-BRIERE (Université Paris Cité).


Good level in molecular biology and cell biology with a general Bachelor's degree in Life Sciences.


The objectives of this course are:
1) to train students in the methodologies of genome engineering and editing, synthetic biology and RNA-mediated technologies, in particular gene silencing by RNA interference
2) to describe the molecular basis of the mechanisms of gene regulation mediated by non-coding RNAs and DNA repair/recombination underlying these technologies
3) to present prospective developments and applications in the fields of plant production and health
4) to reflect on the societal, environmental and ethical challenges associated with the development of these biotechnologies.


  • Lectures: Genome engineering technologies, synthetic biology and RNA interference: principles, underlying molecular mechanisms and applications.
  • Tutorials: examples of applications
  • Practicals: silencing in plants.
    During the practical work sessions, the students carry out the analysis of Arabidopsis thaliana lines subjected to different types of silencing and highlight the systemic response to a viral attack. They carry out cloning for an RNAi strategy. This work allows them not only to learn molecular biology techniques dedicated to the analysis of small interfering RNAs and DNA methylation, but also to practice classical transgenesis, molecular and plant cell biology techniques (quantitative RT-PCR, cloning, detection of reporter proteins...).
  • Seminars (4h)
  • Personal work: report on practical work, preparation of the seminars, turorials and the exam.


  • Biotechnologies. Les promesses du vivant, 2015, Vanessa Proux, Collectif, Fyp
  • Stable RNA interference rules for silencing, Fellmann and Lowe, 2014, Nature Cell Biology, vol 16
  • Synthetic biology: Recent progress, biosafety and biosecurity concerns, and possible solutions, Wang and Zhang, 2019, Journal of Biosafety and Biosecurity
  • The next generation of CRISPR–Cas technologies and applications, Pickar-Oliver & Gersbach, 2019, Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology volume 20, pages 490–507.

Elective TU (Choice between this TU "Genome engineering and interfering RNAs" and the TU "Plant nutrition physiology and agronomy").
Lectures: 14h, Tutorials: 6h, Practicals: 24h
Location: Paris

Modification date : 12 February 2024 | Publication date : 20 November 2020 | Redactor : MSA