Engineering the plastid genome of higher plants

  • Maliga P
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Abstract

The plastid genome of higher plants is an attractive target for engineering because it provides readily obtainable high protein levels, the feasibility of expressing multiple proteins from polycistronic mRNAs and gene containment through the lack of pollen transmission. A chloroplast-based expression system that is suitable for the commercial production of recombinant proteins in tobacco leaves has been developed recently. This expression system includes vectors, expression cassettes and site-specific recombinases for the selective elimination of marker genes. Progress in expressing proteins that are biomedically relevant, in engineering metabolic pathways, and in manipulating photosynthesis and agronomic traits is discussed, as are the problems of implementing the technology in crops.

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Authors

  • Pal Maliga

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