Plant genome editing with TALEN and CRISPR

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Malzahn, A., Lowder, L. & Qi, Y. Plant genome editing with TALEN and CRISPR. Cell Biosci 7, 21 (2017).


Genome editing promises giant leaps forward in advancing biotechnology, agriculture, and basic research. The process relies on the use of sequence specific nucleases (SSNs) to make DNA double stranded breaks at user defined genomic loci, which are subsequently repaired by two main DNA repair pathways: non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) and homology directed repair (HDR). NHEJ can result in frameshift mutations that often create genetic knockouts. These knockout lines are useful for functional and reverse genetic studies but also have applications in agriculture. HDR has a variety of applications as it can be used for gene replacement, gene stacking, and for creating various fusion proteins. In recent years, transcription activator-like effector nucleases and clustered regularly interspaced palindromic repeats (CRISPR) and CRISPR associated protein 9 or CRISPR from Prevotella and Francisella 1 have emerged as the preferred SSNs for research purposes. Here, we review their applications in plant research, discuss current limitations, and predict future research directions in plant genome editing.