Targeted gene manipulation is a central strategy for studying gene function and identifying related biological processes. However, a methodology for manipulating the regulatory motifs of transcription factors is lacking as these factors commonly possess multiple motifs (e.g. repression and activation motifs) which collaborate with each other to regulate multiple biological processes. We describe a novel approach designated conserved sequence-guided repressor inhibition (CoSRI) that can specifically reduce or abolish the repressive activities of transcription factors in vivo. The technology was evaluated using the chimeric MYB80-EAR transcription factor and subsequently the endogenous WUS transcription factor. The technology was employed to develop a reversible male sterility system applicable to hybrid seed production. In order to determine the capacity of the technology to regulate the activity of endogenous transcription factors, the WUS repressor was chosen. The WUS repression motif could be inhibited in vivo and the transformed plants exhibited the wus-1 phenotype. Consequently, the technology can be used to manipulate the activities of transcriptional repressor motifs regulating beneficial traits in crop plants and other eukaryotic organisms.