Recent advances in the targeted modification of complex eukaryotic genomes have unlocked a new era of genome engineering. From the pioneering work using zinc-finger nucleases (ZFNs), to the advent of the versatile and specific TALEN systems, and most recently the highly accessible CRISPR/Cas9 systems, we now possess an unprecedented ability to analyze developmental processes using sophisticated designer genetic tools. In this Review, we summarize the common approaches and applications of these still-evolving tools as they are being used in the most popular model developmental systems. Excitingly, these robust and simple genomic engineering tools also promise to revolutionize developmental studies using less well established experimental organisms.
- Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated systems (Cas9)
- Genome engineering
- Model organisms
- Transcription activator-like effector nuclease (TALEN)
- Zinc finger nuclease (ZFN)