TAL effector nucleases induce mutations at a pre-selected location in the genome of primary barley transformants

Toni Wendt, Preben Bach Holm, Colby G. Starker, Michelle Christian, Daniel F. Voytas, Henrik Brinch-Pedersen, Inger Bæksted Holme

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

143 Scopus citations


Transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs) enable targeted mutagenesis in a variety of organisms. The primary advantage of TALENs over other sequence-specific nucleases, namely zinc finger nucleases and meganucleases, lies in their ease of assembly, reliability of function, and their broad targeting range. Here we report the assembly of several TALENs for a specific genomic locus in barley. The cleavage activity of individual TALENs was first tested in vivo using a yeast-based, single-strand annealing assay. The most efficient TALEN was then selected for barley transformation. Analysis of the resulting transformants showed that TALEN-induced double strand breaks led to the introduction of short deletions at the target site. Additional analysis revealed that each barley transformant contained a range of different mutations, indicating that mutations occurred independently in different cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-285
Number of pages7
JournalPlant molecular biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments This project is funded by the Danish Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries (3304-FVFP-09-B-006) and a grant from the US National Science Foundation (DBI 0923827).


  • Cereal transformation
  • Hordeum vulgare
  • TAL effector nucleases
  • Targeted mutagenesis


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