TALENs (transcription activator-like effector nucleases), one of the genome
editing tools, have a likely lesser chance of having off-target mutations
than other genome editing techniques. However, a rapid test system for the
functionality of the designed TALENs and an effective delivery system for
introducing TALENs to plants are critical for successful target mutation.
While TALENs are usually introduced into plants using viral vectors, these
are not always available, and plants edited by these vectors usually require
A research team led by Jin Ma of the University of New Brunswick and the
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada used a non-viral, Agrobacterium-mediated
transient expression approach, to serve both as a rapid test and an
effective delivery of TALENs into two vegetatively propagated potato
cultivars, Solanum tuberosum Russet Burbank and Shepody.
Two TALENs with different molecular weights were introduced into the leaves
of potato plants by Agrobacterium-mediated infiltration. The two TALENs were
designed to target two different endogenous genes, one coding for starch
branching enzyme and one for an acid invertase. Analysis of the
transformants revealed that the two sets of TALENs, even with different
molecular weights, were successful in inducing mutations at two different
loci in the tetraploid potato.