Engineered TAL effector proteins: Versatile reagents for manipulating plant genomes

Michelle Christian, Daniel F Voytas

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations


Transcription activator-like (TAL) effectors are proteins produced by plant pathogens of the genus Xanthomonas. They are delivered to plant cells during infection and bind to specifi c plant gene promoters to activate transcription and promote bacterial infection. DNA binding by TAL effectors is mediated by an array of typically 14–24 repeats; each repeat is 34 amino acids in length and folds into a hairpin-like structure that contacts a single base in the target DNA. The TAL effector DNA-binding motif has proven highly modular, and custom TAL effector arrays can be made to recognize virtually any site in a plant genome, thereby providing a valuable reagent for genome manipulation. In particular, when TAL effector arrays are fused to a nuclease, they can create targeted double-strand breaks at a locus of interest. The repair of the breaks can be directed to achieve a variety of targeted genome modifi cations, with applications ranging from understanding plant gene function to creating novel traits in agronomically important crop species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in New Technology for Targeted Modification of Plant Genomes
PublisherSpringer New York
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781493925568
ISBN (Print)9781493925551
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015.


  • DNA-binding proteins
  • Equence-specific nucleases
  • Nonhomologous end joining (NHEJ)
  • Transcription activator-like effector nucleases


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