Plant Biotechnology

Electronic Journal of Biotechnology ISSN: 0717-3458 Vol. 10 No. 3, Issue of July 15, 2007
© 2007 by Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso -- Chile Received July 25, 2006 / Accepted January 19, 2007
DOI: 10.2225/vol10-issue3-fulltext-4

Expression of bacterial genes in transgenic tobacco: methods, applications and future prospects

Sandro Jube
Department of Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering
University of Hawaii at Manoa
1955 East-West Road, Ag. Science 218
Honolulu, Hawaii 96822 USA
Tel: 808 956 8210
Fax: 808 956 3542

Dulal Borthakur*
Department of Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering
University of Hawaii at Manoa
1955 East-West Road, Ag. Science 218
Honolulu, Hawaii 96822 USA
Tel: 808 956 6600
Fax: 808 956 3542


*Corresponding author

Financial support: This work was supported by the USDA-NRICGP Award No. 2002-35107-11659, USDA-TSTAR Award No. 2004-34135-15174 and USDA-TSTAR Award No. 2006-34135-17714.

Keywords: biotechnology, environmental stress, insect/pathogen/herbicide resistance, phytoremediation, transgenics, vaccine production.


2,4-D: 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid
AHL-lactonase: acyl-homoserine lactonase
AHLs: N-acylhomoserine lactones
BADH: betaine aldehyde dehydrogenase
bO: bacterio-opsin
Bt: Bacillus thuringiensis
CDH: choline dehydrogenase
ChoM: cholesterol oxidase
CT: cholera toxin
EF: edema factor
EPSPS: 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase
GTN: glycerol trinitrate
HR: hypersensitive response
LF: lethal factor
LT: heat-labile enterotoxin
NR: nitroreductase
OCT: ornithine carbamoyltransferase
OHL: N-oxoacyl-homoserine lactone
PA: protective antigen
pcd: phenylcarbamate degradation
PCWDEs: plant cell wall degrading enzymes
PETN: pentaerythritol tetranitrate
PHAs: polyhydroxyalkanoates
PHB: polyhydroxybutyrate
PMPH: phenylcarbamate hydrolase
PPT: phosphinothricin
PR: pathogenesis-related
QS: quorum sensing
ROCT: phaseolotoxin-resistant
SAR: systemic acquired response
SOCT: phaseolotoxin-sensitive
TNT: 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene
UV: ultraviolet

Full Text

Tobacco is the most commonly used plant for expression of transgenes from a variety of organisms, because it is easily grown and transformed, it provides abundant amounts of fresh tissue and has a well-established cell culture system. Many bacterial proteins involved in the synthesis of commercial products are currently engineered for production in tobacco. Bacterial enzymes synthesized in tobacco can enhance protection against abiotic stresses and diseases, and provide a system to test applied strategies such as phytoremediation. Examples of bacterial gene expression in tobacco include production of antigen proteins from several human bacterial pathogens as vaccines, bacterial proteins for enhancing resistance against insects, pathogens and herbicides, and bacterial enzymes for the production of polymers, sugars, and bioethanol. Further improvements in the expression of recombinant proteins and their recovery from tobacco will enhance production and commercial use of these proteins. This review highlights the dynamic use of tobacco in bacterial protein production by examining the most relevant research in this field.

Supported by UNESCO / MIRCEN network