TAL effectors: Highly adaptable phytobacterial virulence factors and readily engineered DNA-targeting proteins

Erin L. Doyle, Barry L. Stoddard, Daniel F Voytas, Adam J. Bogdanove

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations

Abstract

Transcription activator-like (TAL) effectors are transcription factors injected into plant cells by pathogenic bacteria of the genus Xanthomonas. They function as virulence factors by activating host genes important for disease, or as avirulence factors by turning on genes that provide resistance. DNA-binding specificity is encoded by polymorphic repeats in each protein that correspond one-to-one with different nucleotides. This code has facilitated target identification and opened new avenues for engineering disease resistance. It has also enabled TAL effector customization for targeted gene control, genome editing, and other applications. This article reviews the structural basis for TAL effector-DNA specificity, the impact of the TAL effector-DNA code on plant pathology and engineered resistance, and recent accomplishments and future challenges in TAL effector-based DNA targeting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)390-398
Number of pages9
JournalTrends in Cell Biology
Volume23
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2013

Keywords

  • Crystal structure
  • DNA targeting
  • Gene therapy
  • Plant disease
  • Resistance genes
  • Susceptibility genes
  • TAL effector nucleases

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