Biochemistry, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Nature Biotechnology 30 (2012), pp. 390–392; doi: 10.1038/nbt.2199


Copyright © 2012 Nature Publishing Group. Used by permission.


Transcription activator–like (TAL) effectors of Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo) contribute to pathogen virulence by transcriptionally activating specific rice disease-susceptibility (S) genes. TAL effector nucleases (TALENs)—fusion proteins derived from the DNA recognition repeats of native or customized TAL effectors and the DNA cleavage domains of FokI—have been used to create site-specific gene modifications in plant cells, yeast, animals, and even human pluripotent cells. Here, we exploit TALEN technology to edit a specific S gene in rice to thwart the virulence strategy of X. oryzae and thereby engineer heritable genome modifications for resistance to bacterial blight, a devastating disease in a crop that feeds half of the world’s population.