Heterologous expression of cellulase enzymes in transplastidic Nicotiana tabacum cv. Petit Havana

McKenzie, B 2008, Heterologous expression of cellulase enzymes in transplastidic Nicotiana tabacum cv. Petit Havana, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Applied Sciences, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

Attached Files
Name Description MIMEType Size
McKenzie.pdf Thesis application/pdf 6.67MB
Title Heterologous expression of cellulase enzymes in transplastidic Nicotiana tabacum cv. Petit Havana
Author(s) McKenzie, B
Year 2008
Abstract Extensive research into enzyme-induced bio-conversion of lignocellulose to soluble sugars has been conducted and research continues in this area. Several approaches have been taken to attempt to alleviate the economic problems associated with utilisation of lignocellulose in fuel ethanol production.

By expressing cellulase genes in planta, it is hoped that the cost of enzyme-mediated hydrolysis of cellulose to its soluble sugar monomers, will be reduced. Some accomplishments have been made in this area using nuclear genetic transformation (Abdeev et al., 2003; Abdeev et al., 2004; Austin-Phillips et al., 1999; Biswas et al., 2006; Dai et al., 2000a,b; Dai et al., 2005; Jin et al., 2003; Kawazu et al., 1999; Sakka et al., 2000; Ziegelhoffer et al., 1999; Ziegelhoffer et al., 2001; Ziegler et al., 2000), but more research is required to bring the levels of cellulase enzyme expression in plants to levels that will make the process economically competitive.

Chloroplasts of N. tabacum were selected as a target for transformation for high level expression due to their extremely high rates of transcription and translation. These were transformed with two genes, the e1 gene from A. cellulolyticus, and the cbh1 gene from T. reesei. Further aims included the investigation of the effects of using different promoters, and the novel use of both nuclear and chloroplast-based expression in a single plant, on the level of protein production in the heterologous host.

Heterologous expression of the cbh1 gene was not successful. This is thought to be due to toxicity of the protein in a prokaryotic environment. Future studies should focus on trying to avoid this toxicity by targeting of the chloroplast-expressed enzyme to specific tissues, such as the thylakoid membrane, for containment, creating a codon-optimised synthetic gene that better mimics the codon usage of the plant to be used for expression, or placing the expression under a reactive cascade that is only activated upon exposure to an external trigger.

Heterologous expression of the full length gene for E1 from A. cellulolyticus was successful. Chloroplast homology vectors under the constitutive promoter Prrn, and the inducible promoter T7, were constructed and these were used to successfully transform N. tabacum cv. Petit Havana chloroplasts. Stable transgenic plants were produced and evaluated by a variety of means, with the heterologously expressed enzyme showing activity against the soluble substrate analogue MUC of up to 3122 ± 466 pmol 4-MU/mg TSP/min and an E1 accumulation level of up to 0.35% ± 0.06 of the total soluble protein.

Lastly, chloroplast transformation was combined with nuclear transformation to create novel dual-transgenic plants simultaneously expressing E1 from both the nuclear and chloroplast genomes. The combination of these technologies was very successful, with the heterologously expressed enzyme showing activity against the soluble substrate analogue MUC of up to 35706 ± 955 pmol 4-MU/mg TSP/min and an E1 accumulation level of up to 4.78% ± 0.13 of the total soluble protein, and provides a new approach for increasing the accumulation levels of plant-produced cellulase enzymes.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Applied Sciences
Keyword(s) Lignocellulose Biotechnology
Versions
Version Filter Type
Access Statistics: 287 Abstract Views, 735 File Downloads  -  Detailed Statistics
Created: Mon, 29 Nov 2010, 16:09:00 EST by Catalyst Administrator
© 2014 RMIT Research Repository • Powered by Fez SoftwareContact us