Biotechnology, chloroplast, transplastomic, transgene, tuberculosis, lipase, lactuca sativa, nicotiana tabacum, mycobacterium tuberculosis


Tuberculosis (TB), caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis), is a global threat and the leading cause of death among individuals infected with HIV. TB treatment requires multi-drug cocktails, due to the increasing rates of drug resistance of the bacterium. With multi-drug cocktails, strains have been documented to be resistant to all major drugs in the fight against TB. Since the strains are drug resistant, it calls for an increasing need for vaccine and treatment development for the purpose of preventing and managing the disease. The most widely distributed vaccine against TB is Bacillus Calmette-Gue´rin (BCG). Apart from being ineffective in certain individuals, BCG offers only a limited timeframe of protection, is unable to serve as a booster for extending this timeframe and due to the intradermal route of administration requires costly refrigeration and syringes. LipY protein, a M. tuberculosis cell wall lipase, may play a potential role as not only a drug target but a potential vaccine antigen. LipY is known to be up-regulated during both active infection and dormancy. In a previous study, sera from TB patients had shown an IgG and IgM response against it. In this study transplastomic Lactuca sativa and Nicotiana tabacum plants were generated by transforming the chloroplasts through the particle delivery system with pLsDv-LipY and pLD-LipY vectors respectively. The vectors were flanked by the native trnI and trnA gene sequence to facilitate homologous recombination into the chloroplast genome. The vector also contained the 16S rRNA promoter, the selectable marker gene, aadA for specitinomycin resistance, the rbcL untranslated region, the LsPpsbA (PpsbA in N. tabacum) promoter, and LsTpsbA (tpsbA in N. tabacum) untranslated region. iv Site specific integration of the LipY gene into the chloroplast genome was confirmed by PCR. Homoplasmy of transplastomic plants was confirmed by Southern blot analysis. These plants showed normal growth and were fertile, producing seeds. Once germinated, these seeds did not show Mendelian segregation of the transgene. Immunoblot analysis was performed to analyze the expression of the LipY protein. A 40kDa protein was produced in E.coli, and a 25kDa protein was produced in chloroplasts; a cleaved product in chloroplasts is still valuable as an antigen for vaccine production. Future studies will include testing this chloroplast derived antigen in animal models for vaccine development.


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Graduation Date





Daniell, Henry


Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Medicine


Molecular Biology and Microbiology

Degree Program









Release Date

February 2014

Length of Campus-only Access

1 year

Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)


Dissertations, Academic -- Medicine, Medicine -- Dissertations, Academic