Breaking the Code: Pathogen Protein Discovery Opens Promising Applications in BiotechNovember 13, 2009
Two independent teams of researchers - one from the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg in Germany and the other from the Iowa State University, have discovered how a group of proteins from the plant pathogenic bacterium Xanthomonas interact with DNA in their plant host cell. The teams led by Jens Boch and Adam Bogdanove described how the virulence factors TAL (short for transcription activator-like effectors) bind to specific portions of the plant DNA and manipulate plant gene functions in ways that benefit the pathogen.
Scientists have known that TAL binds to the DNA via a central domain of 34 amino acid repeats. Now Boch and Bogdanove and their teams showed independently that a pair of amino acid residues in each repeat recognizes one base pair in the target DNA "with no apparent context dependence." "This simple relationship allows us to predict where a TAL effector will bind, and what genes it will activate. It also makes it likely that we can custom engineer TAL effectors to bind to virtually any DNA sequence," said Bogdanove.
The discovery of the "cipher" that governs DNA recognition by TAL effectors opens promising applications for research and biotechnology. For instance, TAL binding sites might be attached to disease resistance genes so they are activated upon infection.
The papers published by Science are available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1178811 and http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1178817 For more information, read the original story at http://www.news.iastate.edu/news/2009/nov/bogdanove
Biotech Updates is a weekly newsletter of ISAAA, a not-for-profit organization. It is distributed for free to over 22,000 subscribers worldwide to inform them about the key developments in biosciences, especially in biotechnology. Your support will help us in our mission to feed the world with knowledge. You can help by donating as little as $10.
See more articles:
News from Around the World
- International Team Completes First Draft of Cassava Genome
- Food Prices Remain High in Poor Countries, says FAO
- Cassava Brown Streak Disease Continues to Threaten Food Security in Africa
- Moroccan Biosafety Association
- Shah is Nominated USAID Administrator
- Team Gets USD 3.9 Million to Study Unsightly Spud Disease
- DuPont, Dow Sign Soybean Cross Licensing Deal
- Dow and Chromatin Sign Research, License Agreement
- Bayer Completes Acquisition of Athenix Corp
- Malaysia Plays Host to Young Women Researcher Award
- Transgenics Utilization and Biosafety Management of GMOs in China
- Malaysian Palm Oil Board Completes Sequencing Of Three Oil Palm Genomes
- Australia Commercialization Initiative
- Limited Release of Herbicide-Resistant Sugarcane in Australia
- TWAS-TWOWS Young Women Scientists Workshop in Malaysia
- Lab Tests Can Accurately Identify Potential Risks of Bt Crops in the Field
- Breaking the Code: Pathogen Protein Discovery Opens Promising Applications in Biotech
- ICEBP 2009 in Indonesia
- APHIS Seeks Comment on High Oleic, Low Linoleic Soybean Deregulation
- Book on Pesticides Published by India
Read the latest:
- Biotech Updates (March 22, 2023)
- Genome Editing Supplement (March 22, 2023)
- Gene Drive Supplement (February 22, 2023)
Subscribe to BU: