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ABSTRACT: The expression of recombinant antigens in transgenic plants is increasingly used as an alternative method of producing experimental immunogens. In this report, we describe the production of transgenic tomato plants that express the structural polyprotein, P1-2A, and protease, 3C, from foot-and-mouth disease (FMDV). P1-2A3C was inserted into the plant binary vector, pBin438, and transformed into tomato plants using Agrobacterium tumefaciens strain, GV3101. The presence of P1-2A3C was confirmed by PCR, transcription was verified by RT-PCR, and recombinant protein expression was confirmed by sandwich-ELISA and Western blot analyses. Guinea pigs immunized intramuscularly with foliar extracts from P1-2A3C-transgenic tomato plants were found to develop a virus-specific antibody response against FMDV. Vaccinated guinea pigs were fully protected against a challenge infection, while guinea pigs injected with untransformed plant extracts failed to elicit an antibody response and were not protected against challenge. These results demonstrate that transgenic tomato plants expressing the FMDV structural polyprotein, P1-2A, and the protease, 3C, can be used as a source of recombinant antigen for vaccine production.
Lanzhou Veterinary Research InstituteKao-lan-hsien, Gansu Sheng, China