An Interspecific Nicotiana Hybrid as a Useful and Cost-Effective Platform for Production of Animal Vaccines
AuthorLing, H-Y; Edwards, AM; Gantier, MP; DeBoer, KD; Neale, AD; Hamill, JD; Walmsley, AM
Source TitlePLoS One
PublisherPUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE
University of Melbourne Author/sHAMILL, JOHN
AffiliationSchool of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsLing, H. -Y., Edwards, A. M., Gantier, M. P., DeBoer, K. D., Neale, A. D., Hamill, J. D. & Walmsley, A. M. (2012). An Interspecific Nicotiana Hybrid as a Useful and Cost-Effective Platform for Production of Animal Vaccines. PLOS ONE, 7 (4), https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0035688.
Access StatusOpen Access
The use of transgenic plants to produce novel products has great biotechnological potential as the relatively inexpensive inputs of light, water, and nutrients are utilised in return for potentially valuable bioactive metabolites, diagnostic proteins and vaccines. Extensive research is ongoing in this area internationally with the aim of producing plant-made vaccines of importance for both animals and humans. Vaccine purification is generally regarded as being integral to the preparation of safe and effective vaccines for use in humans. However, the use of crude plant extracts for animal immunisation may enable plant-made vaccines to become a cost-effective and efficacious approach to safely immunise large numbers of farm animals against diseases such as avian influenza. Since the technology associated with genetic transformation and large-scale propagation is very well established in Nicotiana, the genus has attributes well-suited for the production of plant-made vaccines. However the presence of potentially toxic alkaloids in Nicotiana extracts impedes their use as crude vaccine preparations. In the current study we describe a Nicotiana tabacum and N. glauca hybrid that expresses the HA glycoprotein of influenza A in its leaves but does not synthesize alkaloids. We demonstrate that injection with crude leaf extracts from these interspecific hybrid plants is a safe and effective approach for immunising mice. Moreover, this antigen-producing alkaloid-free, transgenic interspecific hybrid is vigorous, with a high capacity for vegetative shoot regeneration after harvesting. These plants are easily propagated by vegetative cuttings and have the added benefit of not producing viable pollen, thus reducing potential problems associated with bio-containment. Hence, these Nicotiana hybrids provide an advantageous production platform for partially purified, plant-made vaccines which may be particularly well suited for use in veterinary immunization programs.
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