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Human albumin from tobacco plants

ansformation.

The novelty in this research arises from the method of obtention of the HSA. The plastidial system enables the extraction of great quantities of albumin. With nuclear transformation, the maximum level obtained is 0.5% of the total soluble protein of the plant, while application of the plastidial system multiplies this percentage by fourteen (to 7%), reaching an average of 0.9 milligrams of HSA per gram of fresh leaf weight.

The key is the place where the gene in question is deposited. With the nuclear transformation method, it integrates into the DNA of the cell nucleus of the leaf and, thus, can only manage a small number of copies of the gene. With the plastidial system, on the other hand, the gene is introduced into the chloroplast, where photosynthesis takes place and where the genomes can multiply up to 10,000 times.

A property highly valued by the experts has to be added to these positive results: the production of albumin from plants using this technique does not involve the escape of genes through pollen transmission given that, with most crops under cultivation, the genome of the plastids is inherited maternally.

More biomass in tobacco plants

The tobacco plant is very easy to handle genetically and also it is great generator of biomass. The authoress of the thesis says that up to 100 tons of biomass per hectare can be obtained in optimum growth conditions. "Given that the protein is produced in the chloroplasts, the more the leaf biomass we have, the more albumin we can get".

To date all the trials undertaken with tobacco plants have been with laboratory varieties. The aim is to do tests with commercial varieties. Laboratory plants are very small and, as a result, the quantity of albumin extracted is not sufficient. However, the commercial varieties of tobacco are some 30 times more productive in terms of biomass.

Despite the advantages demonstrated by the experts, there is st
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Source:Elhuyar Fundazioa


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