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Plant Cell Physiol. 2015 Mar;56(3):389-400. doi: 10.1093/pcp/pcu170. Epub 2014 Nov 20.

Genome editing with engineered nucleases in plants.

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RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science, 3-1-1 Koyadai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, 305-0074 Japan.
Center for Collaboration among Agriculture, Industry and Commerce, The University of Tokushima, 3-18-15 Kuramoto-cho, Tokushima, 770-8503 Japan


Numerous examples of successful 'genome editing' now exist. Genome editing uses engineered nucleases as powerful tools to target specific DNA sequences to edit genes precisely in the genomes of both model and crop plants, as well as a variety of other organisms. The DNA-binding domains of zinc finger (ZF) proteins were the first to be used as genome editing tools, in the form of designed ZF nucleases (ZFNs). More recently, transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs), as well as the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/Cas9 (CRISPR/Cas9) system, which utilizes RNA-DNA interactions, have proved useful. A key step in genome editing is the generation of a double-stranded DNA break that is specific to the target gene. This is achieved by custom-designed endonucleases, which enable site-directed mutagenesis via a non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) repair pathway and/or gene targeting via homologous recombination (HR) to occur efficiently at specific sites in the genome. This review provides an overview of recent advances in genome editing technologies in plants, and discusses how these can provide insights into current plant molecular biology research and molecular breeding technology.


CRISPR/Cas9; DSB; Genome editing; TALEN; ZFN

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