SYNTHETIC ENDONUCLEASES: NOVEL TOOLS FOR THE SITE-DIRECTED GENETIC MODIFICATION OF PLANTS
Genome engineering is a breakthrough technology that facilitates the effective validation of functional DNA sequences and offers versatile possibilities for crop improvement through site-specific genetic modification. This emerging technology rests on synthetic endonucleases whose coding expression units can be customized to render these DNA cleavage enzymes specific for user-defined target sequences. The resultant cleavage site is then processed by the cells endogenous DNA repair machinery. The mechanisms of cellular DNA repair are either error-prone, which results in random sequence alterations at the genomic target site, or can be manipulated to facilitate the integration of a favored sequence. The novelty of genome engineering lies in its capacity to effect heritable genetic modifications at virtually any desired genomic position and, by repair template-mediated genome editing, to achieve the seamless correction, introduction, removal or exchange of any DNA sequence of choice. This review provides information on the currently available formats of synthetic endonucleases along with their working principles as well as some prospects they offer for plant research and crop improvement.
Hiekel, S., Schedel, S., Hensel, G., Gurushidze, M., Budhagatapalli, N. and Kumlehn, J. (2015). SYNTHETIC ENDONUCLEASES: NOVEL TOOLS FOR THE SITE-DIRECTED GENETIC MODIFICATION OF PLANTS. Acta Hortic. 1087, 71-81
genetic engineering, genome editing, homology-directed repair, non-homologous end-joining, site-directed mutagenesis