Implementation of TALEN- und CRISPR/Cas9 – systems for elimination of susceptibility factors in oilseed rape and potato genomes (BN-TALEN)


Team: Michael Pröbsting, Maximilian Teutsch, Dirk Schenke
Grant No.: 031B0033C, BMBF-Bioökonomie,
Partner: Dr. Jens Lübeck, Solana Research GmbH, Dr. Steffen Rietz,  NPZ Innovation GmbH

Potato and Rapeseed are two major crops in Germany, which are infected by a range of pathogens. Common scab (Streptomyces scabies) and rapeseed wilt (Verticillium longisporum) are two diseases which cannot be controlled so far since there are no sufficiently resistant lines or effective pesticides available. Thus, breeding of more resistant lines is of paramount interest. Pathogens rely partly on host compatibility factors, which allow a successful infection and therefore a knock-out of such factors would increase crop resistance. A targeted knock-out depends on a thorough analysis of genomic sequences, which allow construction of molecular scissors (TALEN or CRISPR). If these are expressed in planta, they will specifically cut the target sequence within the gene of interest and thereby induce small nucleotide insertions or deletions resulting in a frame-shift disrupting the open reading frame. The mutants without this compatibility factor should now be more resistant than the wild type plants. Such lines serve as breeding material for the involved companies, but constitute also research material for the lab of Molecular Phytopathology and Biotechnology to unravel the molecular mechanism(s) underlying host-parasite interactions. The project encompasses following research activities:

  • Development of TALEN- and CRISPR/Cas9 - editing systems for potato and oilseed rape


  • Generation of loss-of-function mutants of potential susceptibility factors


  • Characterization of the mutants in regarding their interactions with the pathogens


  • Optimization of genome editing systems