Biotech Updates

Maize Promoter Induces Cellulase Enzyme Expression in Maize Kernels

July 17, 2019

Researchers from Arkansas State University and partners tested three endosperm promoters for expression of a cellulase gene. The results are reported in Transgenic Research.

Expression of recombinant proteins in plants is used in the development of vaccines, pharmaceuticals, and industrial enzymes. In a previous study, the researchers produced recombinant proteins in maize kernels using only the embryo, which drives the expression of foreign genes with a maize promoter. This has resulted in strong expression, but only 10-12% of the seed tissue were used. To increase the amount of recombinant protein to be recovered from a specific amount of biomass, the researchers tested three endosperm promoters (2 rice promoters and maize α-zein promoter) in two tandem expression constructs. Results showed that although the rice promoters produced stable amounts of cellulase, the maize promoter was the most effective. Analysis confirmed that the expression only occurred in the endosperm.

Read the research article in Transgenic Research.