The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 57: 621 - 627 (2013)

Vol 57, Issue 6-7-8

Special Issue: Plant Transgenesis

Directed genome engineering for genome optimization

Published: 9 October 2013

Kathleen D’Halluin* and Rene Ruiter

Bayer CropScience N.V., Gent, Belgium


The ability to develop nucleases with tailor-made activities for targeted DNA double-strand break induction at will at any desired position in the genome has been a major breakthrough to make targeted genome optimization feasible in plants. The development of site specific nucleases for precise genome modification has expanded the repertoire of tools for the development and optimization of traits, already including mutation breeding, molecular breeding and transgenesis.Through directed genome engineering technology, the huge amount of information provided by genomics and systems biology can now more effectively be used for the creation of plants with improved or new traits, and for the dissection of gene functions. Although still in an early phase of deployment, its utility has been demonstrated for engineering disease resistance, herbicide tolerance, altered metabolite profiles, and for molecular trait stacking to allow linked transmis-sion of transgenes. In this article, we will briefly review the different approaches for directed genome engineering with the emphasis on double strand break (DSB)-mediated engineering to-wards genome optimization for crop improvement and towards the acceleration of functional genomics.


DNA double strand break induction and repair, site-specific nuclease, genome editing, crop improvement

Full text in web format is not available for this article. Please download the PDF version.