Conditional targeted genome editing using somatically expressed TALENs in C. elegans

Nat Biotechnol. 2013 Oct;31(10):934-7. doi: 10.1038/nbt.2674. Epub 2013 Aug 18.


We have developed a method for the generation of conditional knockouts in Caenorhabditis elegans by expressing transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs) in somatic cells. Using germline transformation with plasmids encoding TALENs under the control of an inducible or tissue-specific promoter, we observed effective gene modifications and resulting phenotypes in specific developmental stages and tissues. We further used this method to bypass the embryonic requirement of cor-1, which encodes the homolog of human severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) protein coronin, and we determined its essential role in cell migration in larval Q-cell lineages. Our results show that TALENs expressed in the somatic cells of model organisms provide a versatile tool for functional genomics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / cytology
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics*
  • Cell Lineage
  • Cell Movement
  • Deoxyribonucleases / metabolism*
  • Genome, Helminth / genetics*
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Luminescent Proteins / metabolism
  • Mechanotransduction, Cellular
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • RNA Editing / genetics*
  • Trans-Activators / metabolism*


  • Luminescent Proteins
  • Trans-Activators
  • red fluorescent protein
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • Deoxyribonucleases