Transcription activator–like effectors (TALEs) are a class of sequence-specific DNA-binding proteins that utilize a simple and predictable modality to recognize target DNA. This unique characteristic allows for the rapid assembly of artificial TALEs, with high DNA binding specificity, to any target DNA sequences for the creation of customizable sequence-specific nucleases used in genome engineering. Here, we report the use of an artificial TALE protein as a convenient platform for designing broad-spectrum resistance to begomoviruses, one of the most destructive plant virus groups, which cause tremendous losses worldwide. We showed that artificial TALEs, which were assembled based on conserved sequence motifs within begomovirus genomes, could confer partial resistance in transgenic Nicotiana benthamiana to all three begomoviruses tested. Furthermore, the resistance was maintained even in the presence of their betasatellite. These results shed new light on the development of broad-spectrum resistance against DNA viruses, such as begomoviruses.
Cheng, X., Li, F., Cai, J., Chen, W., Zhao, N., Sun, Y., … Wu, X. (2015). Artificial TALE as a convenient protein platform for engineering broad-spectrum resistance to begomoviruses. Viruses, 7(8), 4772–4782. https://doi.org/10.3390/v7082843