Permanent genome modifications in plant cells by transient viral vectors

A. Vainstein*, I. Marton, A. Zipin Rotman, N. De Costa, A. Honig, E. Marhevka, A. Omid, A. Zuker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The ability to modify genome sequences in plant cells is fundamental to modern agriculture. Naturally occurring and artificial rare-cutting endonucleases (i.e., zinc finger nuclease, homing endonuclease or TAL effector nuclease) have been used for targeted mutagenesis in model and crop species. However, stable transformation is the preferred method for gene expression in plant species, and nuclease-expressing transgenic plants have been used for recovery of mutants that are likely to be classified as transgenic due to the use of direct gene-transfer methods into the target cells. We developed an alternative, non-transgenic approach for nuclease delivery and production of mutant plants using a novel Tobacco rattle virus (TRV)-based expression system for indirect transient delivery of nucleases into a variety of tissues and cells of intact plants. Since viral vectors can spread into the growing and developing tissues of infected plants, the novel approach of genomeediting provides a unique opportunity to bypass the regeneration step that is often required in direct gene-transfer methods.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationXXIV International Eucarpia Symposium Section Ornamentals
Subtitle of host publicationOrnamental Breeding Worldwide
PublisherInternational Society for Horticultural Science
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9789066054172
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2012

Publication series

NameActa Horticulturae
ISSN (Print)0567-7572

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.


  • Genome engineering
  • Site-specific mutagenesis
  • TAL effector nuclease
  • Tobacco rattle virus
  • Zinc finger nuclease


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