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Crop Biotech Update

Chilean Scientists Develop Vaccine-Producing GM Tomatoes Against Hepatitis and Cholera

December 23, 2010

Genetically modified (GM) tomato has been developed by scientists from the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile that will produce vaccines against hepatitis and cholera. Patricio Arce, the lead researcher, explained that the tomato-derived vaccine is cheaper, will not require storage requirements, and can be eaten raw minimizing possible damage caused by cooking temperatures.

The scientists isolated the genes that encode key proteins from both pathogens, fused them as a single gene and introduced into tomato plants. The genes are made to express in both fruits and seeds and would be  evaluated for recognition by the body's defenses. The GM tomato will be tested in mice in 2011 and if successful is planned for human testing in 2013.

See the news article in Spanish at http://fundacion-antama.org/cientificos-chilenos-desarrollan-tomate-transgenico-que-inmuniza-contra-la-hepatitis-y-el-colera/.