Guohua Fu

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science




Dr. Lining Tian

Second Advisor

Dr. Vojislava Grbic


Transgenic plants have been explored as a potentially inexpensive expression system for recombinant protein production. However, improvement in protein yield is still the most challenging problem limiting the commercial utilization of plant expression systems. In this study, alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) somatic embryo was evaluated as a tissue for increased recombinant protein expression. Three heterologous genes: fi- glucuronidase (GUS), cholera toxin B subunit (CTB), and human interleukin 13 (hIL-13) were independently introduced into alfalfa via Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. Induced alfalfa somatic embryos store approximately two-fold more ectopically expressed proteins (as a percentage of total soluble protein) than vegetative organs such as roots, stems, and leaves. The foreign proteins CTB and hIL-13 could accumulate up to 0.15% and 0.18% of total soluble protein in alfalfa somatic embryos, respectively. These .... • ..... ... results indicate that alfalfa somatic embryos can serve as an efficient expression system to accumulate heterologous proteins.



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