High Efficient Genome Modification by Designed Zinc Finger Nuclease

  • Yiping Qi


Zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs) are engineered artificial nucleases for inducing site-specific DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) at the genomic loci of interest. There are two major DNA repair mechanisms in plant cells: nonhomologous end joining (NHEJ) and homologous recombination (HR). Repair of the DNA DSBs can lead to different genome modifications, such as targeted mutagenesis or chromosomal deletions by NHEJ, and gene targeting by HR. Thanks to the recent improvement on ZFN-engineering platforms, diverse ZFN-mediated genome modifications have been achieved in different plant species, such as Arabidopsis, tobacco, petunia, maize, and soybean. The frequencies of ZFN-mediated genome modifications are typically high in somatic cells, but quite low in germinal cells. In order to fully empower ZFNs in plant genome engineering, the challenges such as low germinal transmission frequencies and cellular cytotoxicity will need to be addressed in the near future.


Zinc finger nuclease (ZFN) Double-strand break (DSB) Nonhomologous end joining (NHEJ) Homologous recombination (HR) Plant genome engineering 


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologyEast Carolina UniversityGreenvilleUSA

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