Site-specific, TALENs-mediated transformation of Bombyx mori.
Wang Y., Tan A., Xu J., Li Z., Zeng B., Ling L., You L., Chen Y., James AA., Huang Y.
Transposon-based genetic transformation has facilitated insect functional genomics and new strategies of pest management. However, there is a need for alternative, site-specific approaches to overcome limitations of random integration (and associated position-effects) and potential instability of inserted transgenes. Here we describe a transposon-free, site-specific genetic transformation system mediated by transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs) in the silkworm, Bombyx mori, a lepidopteran model insect. We successfully established a site-specific transgenic system with comparable transformation efficiency to transposon-based genetic transformation through microinjection of TALENs mRNA targeting the BmBLOS2 locus and a linearizable donor plasmid encoding an expression cassette of the DsRed2 red fluorescent protein. This system provides a valuable approach for insect transgenesis and will enable future functional gene analysis and generate novel applications in agricultural and medical insect pest-management technologies.