Infographic: A Gene Editor for Plant Mitochondrial DNA
Infographic: A Gene Editor for Plant Mitochondrial DNA

Infographic: A Gene Editor for Plant Mitochondrial DNA

New TALEN-based tools enable the organelle’s genome to be targeted and modified.

Ruth Williams
Mar 1, 2020

Agrobacteria carrying a plasmid encoding a gene-specific, mitochondria-homing mitoTALEN infect cultured plant cells and deliver the genetic payload to the cells’ nuclei (1), where the DNA integrates into the genome. The encoded mitoTALEN protein is then produced and enters the mitochondria, deleting a portion of the target gene—in this case, a gene causing male sterility (2). The resulting transgenic plant can self-fertilize, producing abundant seeds (3).

george retseck

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Ruth Williams is a freelance journalist based in Connecticut. Email her at ruth@wordsbyruth.com or find her on Twitter @rooph.