Permanent genome modifications in plant cells by transient viral vectors

Alexander Vainstein, Ira Marton, Amir Zuker, Micha Danziger, Tzvi Tzfira*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Endonuclease-mediated induction of genomic double-strand breaks has enabled genome editing in living cells. However, deploying this technology for the induction of gene disruption in plant cells often relies on direct gene transfer of endonuclease (i.e. zinc finger nuclease or homing endonuclease) expression constructs into the targeted cell, followed by regeneration of a mutated plant. Such mutants, even when they have no detectable traces of foreign DNA, might still be classified as transgenic because of the transgenic nature of the endonuclease delivery method. Indirect delivery of endonucleases into target cells by viral vectors provides a unique non-transgenic approach to the production of mutated plants. Furthermore, viral vectors can spread into the growing and developing tissues of infected plants, which could provide a unique opportunity to bypass the regeneration step that is often required in direct gene-transfer methods.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)363-369
Number of pages7
JournalTrends in Biotechnology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Suzy Roffe for her assistance in producing the data in Figures 2 and 3 , Ofira Echuwal for the illustration of Figure 1 and Dr. Roy French for the kind gift of pWSMV-ACYC. The work in our laboratories is funded by Danziger Innovations Ltd., Danziger “Dan” Flower Farm and the Israel Science Foundation (grants no. 269/09 and 432/10) to A.V., by grants from the Israeli Chief Scientist Office (grants no. 42440, 44377) to M.D. and by grants from US-Israel Binational Agricultural Research and Development to T.T. (grant no. US-4150-08) and A.V. (grant no. US-4322-10). A.V. is an incumbent of the Wolfson Chair in Floriculture.


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