Expression of bacterial genes in transgenic tobacco: methods, applications and future prospects
Tobacco is the most commonly used plant for expression of transgenes from a variety of organisms, because it is easily grown and transformed, it provides abundant amounts of fresh tissue and has a well-established cell culture system. Many bacterial proteins involved in the synthesis of commercial products are currently engineered for production in tobacco. Bacterial enzymes synthesized in tobacco can enhance protection against abiotic stresses and diseases, and provide a system to test applied strategies such as phytoremediation. Examples of bacterial gene expression in tobacco include production of antigen proteins from several human bacterial pathogens as vaccines, bacterial proteins for enhancing resistance against insects, pathogens and herbicides, and bacterial enzymes for the production of polymers, sugars, and bioethanol. Further improvements in the expression of recombinant proteins and their recovery from tobacco will enhance production and commercial use of these proteins. This review highlights the dynamic use of tobacco in bacterial protein production by examining the most relevant research in this field.