The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 57: 639 - 650 (2013)

Vol 57, Issue 6-7-8

Special Issue: Plant Transgenesis

From Agrobacterium to viral vectors: genome modification of plant cells by rare cutting restriction enzymes

Published: 9 October 2013

Ira Marton1, Arik Honig1, Ayelet Omid1, Noam De Costa1, Elena Marhevka1, Barry Cohen1, Amir Zuker1 and Alexander Vainstein*,2

1Danziger Innovations Ltd., Mishmar Hashiva Village, Beit Dagan, Israel and ‎‎2Institute of Plant Sciences and Genetics in Agriculture, The Robert H. Smith Faculty of ‎Agriculture, Food and Environment, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot, Israel‎


Researchers and biotechnologists require methods to accurately modify the genome of higher eukaryotic cells. Such modifications include, but are not limited to, site-specific mutagenesis, site-specific insertion of foreign DNA, and replacement and deletion of native sequences. Accurate genome modifications in plant species have been rather limited, with only a handful of plant species and genes being modified through the use of early genome-editing techniques. The development of rare-cutting restriction enzymes as a tool for the induction of site-specific genomic double-strand breaks and their introduction as a reliable tool for genome modification in animals, animal cells and human cell lines have paved the way for the adaptation of rare-cutting restriction enzymes to genome editing in plant cells. Indeed, the number of plant species and genes which have been successfully edited using zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs), transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs) and engineered homing endonucleases is on the rise. In our review, we discuss the basics of rare-cutting restriction enzyme-mediated genome-editing technology with an emphasis on its application in plant species.


genome editing, homing endonucleases, TALENs, viral vectors, ZFNs

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