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Coculture significantly enhanced the in vitro production of scopolamine compared with single-organ root or shoot cultures. Source: Data from Refs. 47 and 48.

Coculture significantly enhanced the in vitro production of scopolamine compared with single-organ root or shoot cultures. Source: Data from Refs. 47 and 48.

plant cells are now considered as viable and competitive expression systems for large-scale protein production. The development of transgenic plants and plant viral vectors for foreign protein synthesis has been reviewed extensively (51-56). There is increasing commercial activity aimed at the production of monoclonal antibodies, vaccines, and enzymes using plants, and several industrial processes using transgenic corn for synthesis of animal-derived proteins have already been developed (57-59).

Compared with whole plants grown in the field or glasshouse, plant tissue culture is a less well developed technology for producing commercially valuable foreign proteins. However, several transgenic plant cell cultures have been reported (60), either for investigation of large-scale, reactor-based protein production or as tools in fundamental studies of protein production by whole plants. So far, application of hairy roots as a production vehicle for foreign proteins has been limited. A. tumefaciens-mediated transfer of foreign genes into hairy roots was tested using green fluorescent protein (GFP) as a convenient indicator of cell transformation (61), demonstrating that hairy root clones previously selected for desirable traits could be genetically transformed using direct infection methods. In other work, hairy roots initiated from transgenic tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) seedlings were used to produce fully assembled and functional murine immunoglobulin G (IgG,) monoclonal antibody in shake flask and bioreactor systems (62-64). Differences in growth and antibody secretion levels between eight hairy root clones allowed selection of elite root lines (63).

Typical results for biomass and IgG, antibody levels in tobacco hairy root and cell suspension cultures are compared in Table 3 (64). The pattern of antibody accumulation in the hairy roots was significantly different from

Table 3 Comparison of Maximum Biomass and Monoclonal Antibody Levels in Hairy Root and Suspended Cell Cultures of Transgenic N. tabacum

Hairy root Suspended

Parameter culture cell culture

Table 3 Comparison of Maximum Biomass and Monoclonal Antibody Levels in Hairy Root and Suspended Cell Cultures of Transgenic N. tabacum

Maximum biomass (g dry weight)

0.51 ±

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