Chen et al, 2014
Targeted gene mutagenesis is a powerful tool for elucidating gene function and facilitating genetic improvement in rice. TALENs (transcription activator-like effector nucleases), consisting of a custom TALE DNA binding domain fused to a nonspecific FokI cleavage domain, are one of the most efficient genome engineering methods developed to date. The technology of TALENs allows DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) to be introduced into predetermined chromosomal loci. DSBs trigger DNA repair mechanisms and can result in loss of gene function by error-prone non-homologous end joining (NHEJ), or they can be exploited to modify gene function or activity by precise homologous recombination (HR). In this paper, we describe a detailed protocol for constructing TALEN expression vectors, assessing nuclease activities in vivo using rice protoplast-based assays, generating and introducing TALEN DNAs into embryogenic calluses of rice and identifying TALEN-generated mutations at targeted genomic sites. Using these methods, T0 rice plants resulting from TALEN mutagenesis can be produced within 4–5 months.