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Crop Biotech Update

Potato Expressing Human Pro-insulin gene produced

March 9, 2012

Dr. Mokhtar Jalali and Kimia Kashani from the University of Tarbiat Modares have successfully produced insulin in transgenic potato. Currently, 0.7% of people in Iran are suffering from diabetes. "Molecular farming which is the production of pharmaceutically important proteins and industrial enzymes in plants through genetic engineering, is the method of choice and more scientists are attracted to this technology than before. Plants have good, safe and economic potential for producing pharmaceutical components and potato is one of these bioreactors," said Kashani.

Their group was able to optimize a reproducible protocol for genetic engineering of potato cultivars Desiree, Marfona and Agria. Recently, the human pro-insulin gene has been transferred to potato using Agrobacterium-mediated transformation method. All molecular characterization of the transgenic plant confirmed the integration and high level expression of the human pro-insulin protein in transgenic potato.

See the news in Farsi at