Plant-based pharmaceuticals are genetically engineered plants, that ...


Dec 6, 2012 (5 years and 4 months ago)


New Technologies

Produce human proteins in plants

Plant based pharmaceuticals

Made from or using

Purification technologies

Biotechnology and Agriculture


To produce crops that:

Self protected


Withstand drought/extreme conditions

quality of food

Larger quantities (increase yield)

Enhanced crops


Edible vaccines


Biotech Applications


Plant food

Fiber crops

Soil science




Biotech Practice

Breeding (roses, lettuce, animal)

Tissue culture (orchids, grasses)

Genetic engineering (corn, soy, cotton)

How are plant
pharmaceuticals related to
genetically engineered organisms?

based pharmaceuticals are
genetically engineered plants, that is,
engineered to produce human
pharmaceuticals. Plant
pharmaceuticals have altered genetic
codes to produce human proteins for
harvest from the transformed plants.

Which is larger, genomic DNA(gDNA)or
plasmidDNA(pDNA),and by how much?

Answer: Genomic DNA is much larger than
plasmid DNA with base pairs in the billions.
Plasmid DNA may have up to several thousand
base pairs in the strand.

Plant DNA is difficult to extract from plant
cells. List a few


that biotechnologists
use to isolate plant DNA.

Answer: Answers will vary, but a few


that biotechnologists use to isolate plant DNA
include freezing plant tissue with liquid
nitrogen, using a chloroform/isoamyl alcohol
mixture, or using commercially developed
plant DNA isolation kits.

Why is the bacterium,
,of interest to biotechnologists?
Answer: Agrobacterium is a naturally
occurring bacterium that will transfer plasmids
into plant cells.

Why is Ti plasmid of interest to

Answer: Ti plasmid is the naturally occurring
plasmid in Agrobacterium that is transferred
during plant genetic engineering. Scientists
can cut and paste genes of interest into the Ti
plasmid and use the recombinant Ti plasmid
to carry genes of interest into cells.

What are the names of the naturally occurring
bacterium and the plasmid that can infect
plants and transfer DNA molecules?

Answer: The bacterium that can infect plants
and transfer DNA molecules is called
Agrobacterium, and the plasmid is the Ti

Name at least two selection genes that are
used to confirm that Ti plasmid
transformation has occurred.

Answer: Answers may vary, but selection
genes that may be used to confirm that Ti
plasmid transformation has occurred could
include any of the following: neomycin
phosphotransferase (NPT II), GUS, or GFP.

How does GUS act as a selection gene?

Answer: The GUS gene produces β
glucuronidase, which breaks down X
from a colorless to a blue product. A blue
precipitate forms in colonies that are
transformed with the GUS gene and that are
responsible for the glucuronidase reaction.

Why are so many plant genetic
experiments conducted with Arabidopsis, even
though it has little, if any, economic value?

Answer: Many plant genetic
experiments are conducted with Arabidopsis
because it is hoped that once mechanisms of
genetic engineering are understood in
Arabidopsis, the technology can be transferred to
other plants of economic or ecological

Besides using the Ti plasmid, name another
way that foreign genes might be transferred to
plant cells.

Answer: Answers will vary, but two
possibilities are, 1) using a virus as a vector; or
2) using a

gene gun

to inject DNA into

Suggest a method for creating a recombinant soybean
plant that contains and expresses a human insulin

Answers may vary. One approach could be that a
recombinant Ti plasmid could be constructed with an
inserted human insulin gene. The new plasmid could
be inserted into Agrobacterium and Agrobacterium
used to inoculate soybean tissue with the recombinant
Ti plasmid. If the Ti plasmid transforms the soybean
tissue, and the tissue is cultured on plant tissue culture
media, transformed plantlets may arise.

What might be the value and application of
plants such as the one discussed in question

Answer: The plant parts (soybeans) could be
given or fed to diabetic persons as medicine,
or the plants could be ground up and the
insulin purified for use as a pharmaceutical.