PS Seminar Series: Programmable TALE-based DNA binding domains and their biotechnological application

Abstract: Transcription activator-like effectors (TALEs) are Type-III-effector proteins mainly found in phytopathogenic Xanthomonas species. TALEs are secreted and translocated into the host cell, where they specifically bind DNA and manipulate transcription to promote virulence. The modular TALE DNA binding domain consists of conserved 34-35 amino acid repeats differing mainly in two key positions called Repeat-variable diresidues (RVDs). Specific DNA-binding occurs in a “one repeat to one base pair” recognition mode, whereas the RVD defines the base binding specificity of a given repeat. De novo assembly of user-defined repeat arrays allows the design of artificial sequence specific TALE DNA binding domains, which can be applied beyond site-specific transcriptional activation by its fusion to different executer domains. In this seminar, natural TALE functions, molecular mechanisms of specific TALE-DNA binding and their biotechnological applications will be presented.

Biography: Dr. Tom Schreiber is a post-doctoral fellow in the field of synthetic biology at Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry. He has background in microbiology, plant physiology, genetics and biochemistry. He received his PhD in Plant Genetics in 2015 working on the analysis of the specific TALE-DNA interaction under Prof. Dr. Ulla Bonas at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg. During his undergraduate studies, he worked on the molecular characterization of AvrBs3-homologs in Ralstonia solanacerum under Prof. Dr. Thomas Lahaye.