Plant Molecular Technology Research Group
research project

【1】Development of platform plants for production of recombinant proteins

  Plants have a defense system, known as RNA silencing mechanism, against foreign genetic elements, such as viruses. RNA silencing mechanism can efficiently and specifically degrade target RNAs and also works against plant viral vectors and transgenes for recombinant protein production, thereby reducing the yield of recombinant proteins. To improve production level of recombinant proteins, we have repressed or knocked-out RNA silencing mechanism-related genes in Nicotiana benthamiana plants. It was cleared that the repression of RNA silencing mechanism would be useful for mass production of recombinant proteins in plants.

  1. Matsuo K, Atsumi G. CRISPR/Cas9-mediated knockout of the RDR6 gene in Nicotiana benthamiana for efficient transient expression of recombinant proteins. Planta. 250 (2019) 463-473.
  2. Matsuo K, Matsumura T. Repression of the DCL2 and DCL4 genes in Nicotiana benthamiana plants for the transient expression of recombinant proteins. J Biosci Bioeng. 124 (2017) 215-220.

【2】Development of efficient targeted DNA methylation technology using plant virus vector

  Plants produce various useful substances such as secondary metabolites. We aim for developing technology to produce useful substances by utilizing plant metabolic system. We are advancing research on efficient targeted DNA methylation technology enabling the transcriptional repression of desired genes without changing DNA sequence itself. This work was supported by Smart Cell Project from the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) of Japan.

【3】Development of closed-type production system for cultivation of transgenic plants

  We have been developing a closed-type production system for transgenic plants which produce recombinant pharmaceuticals. This facility consists of two areas, transgenic plant cultivation area and pharmaceutical production area. In this facility, transgenic plants (such as strawberry, rice, potato, tobacco, and soybean) which produce pharmaceuticals can be cultivated in a completely artificial environment. In cultivation area, temperature, humidity, CO2 concentration, etc. could be controlled automatically. To prevent genetic contamination, pollens are removed by HEPA filter from air, and culture solution and waste materials are discarded after sterilization. At pharmaceutical production area, extraction and processing of pharmaceuticals from cultivated plants.

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*About BPRI

Bioproduction Research Institute

AIST Hokkaido
2-17-2-1, Tsukisamu-Higashi,
Toyohira Ward, Sapporo City,
Hokkaido, 062-8517 Japan
AIST Tsukuba Central 6
Central 6,1-1-1 Higashi, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8566 Japan