Tobacco as platform for a commercial production of cyanophycin.

New biotechnology

PubMedID: 27501906

Nausch H, Hausmann T, Ponndorf D, Hühns M, Hoedtke S, Wolf P, Zeyner A, Broer I. Tobacco as platform for a commercial production of cyanophycin. N Biotechnol. 2016;33(6):842-851.
Cyanophycin (CP) is a proteinogenic polymer that can be substituted for petroleum in the production of plastic compounds and can also serve as a source of valuable dietary supplements. However, because there is no economically feasible system for large-scale industrial production, its application is limited. In order to develop a low-input system, CP-synthesis was established in the two commercial Nicotiana tabacum (N. tabacum) cultivars 'Badischer Geudertheimer' (BG) and 'Virginia Golta' (VG), by introducing the cyanophycin-synthetase gene from Thermosynecchococcus elongatus BP-1 (CphATe) either via crossbreeding with transgenic N. tabacum cv. Petit Havana SR1 (PH) T2 individual 51-3-2 or by agrobacterium-mediated transformation. Both in F1 hybrids (max. 9. 4% CP/DW) and T0 transformants (max. 8. 8% CP/DW), a substantial increase in CP content was achieved in leaf tissue, compared to a maximum of 1. 7% CP/DW in PH T0 transformants of Hühns et al. (2008). In BG CP, yields were homogenous and there was no substantial difference in the variation of the CP content between primary transformants (T0), clones of T0 individuals, T1 siblings and F1 siblings of hybrids. Therefore, BG meets the requirements for establishing a master seed bank for continuous and reliable CP-production. In addition, it was shown that the polymer is not only stable in planta but also during silage, which simplifies storage of the harvest prior to isolation of CP.