Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science




Dr. Rima Menassa

2nd Supervisor

Dr. Susanne Kohalmi

Joint Supervisor


Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) causes disease and mortality to piglets worldwide. Most vaccines used to combat the disease have been ineffective live attenuated virus vaccines. The goal of this project was to produce a plant-made subunit vaccine based off the membrane protein of the virus. This is the first time this protein has been produced in plants. An elastin-like polypeptide fusion membrane protein accumulated up to 0.8 mg/g of fresh leaf weight when transiently expressed in Nicotiana benthamiana. Virus-like particles were also produced for the first time for PEDv, and were able to form with just the membrane protein, or from co-expression of the membrane and envelope protein. This adds to the limited body evidence that the membrane protein is the only necessary component to make coronavirus-like particles, and represents the first time coronavirus-like particles have been made in plants.