Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology

, Volume 187, Issue 2, pp 506–517 | Cite as

Production of Recombinant N Protein of Infectious Bronchitis Virus Using the Baculovirus Expression System and Its Assessment as a Diagnostic Antigen

  • Huseyin Yilmaz
  • Bonto Faburay
  • Nuri Turan
  • Maira Cotton-Caballero
  • Burhan Cetinkaya
  • Aydin Gurel
  • Aysun Yilmaz
  • Utku Y. Cizmecigil
  • Ozge Aydin
  • Eda Altan Tarakci
  • Erhan Bayraktar
  • Juergen A. RichtEmail author


The avian coronavirus-infectious bronchitis virus (AvCoV-IBV) is recognized as an important avian pathogen, and new viral variants are a continuous threat to the poultry industry worldwide. Sensitive diagnostics and efficacious vaccines are necessary to combat IBV infections in chickens. The aim of this study was to produce recombinant N protein of IBV in the baculovirus system to use in ELISA diagnostic tests in order to enable the assessment of the sero-prevalence and risk of IBV infections in chickens in Turkey. For this, the gene encoding the N protein of the Beaudette strain of IBV was expressed using a recombinant baculovirus expression system. The recombinant N protein was purified using Ni-NTA affinity chromatography. An estimated 50-kDa recombinant protein corresponding to the expected molecular weight of IBV N including the 6xHis tag was detected using an anti-His monoclonal antibody. Specific immunoreactivity of the recombinant protein was confirmed by Western blot using antiserum obtained from vaccinated and naturally infected chicken from Turkey as well as using a monoclonal antibody raised against the N protein of the IBV Massachusetts strain. The results obtained with the in-house ELISA had high agreement with a commercial ELISA. Immunoreactivity analysis using antisera in Western blotting and the in-house ELISA suggests that the recombinant IBV N protein could be broadly cross-reactive with antisera produced against different IBV strains. We conclude that the recombinant baculovirus expressed IBV N protein could serve as a useful diagnostic antigen for detection of IBV infections in chickens by ELISA.


Infectious bronchitis virus Baculovirus Expression Recombinant N protein 



Avian coronavirus


Infectious bronchitis


Infectious bronchitis virus


Infectious bronchitis virus N


Polymerase chain reaction


Western blot


Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay


Serum-free medium



We would like to thank to TUBITAK: Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (Project No: 113O411) for funding; and the DHS Center of Excellence for Emerging and Zoonotic Animal Diseases (CEEZAD). Also thanks to Professor Paul Britton, Professor Dan Heller, Dr. Jack deWit, Dr. Loneke Vervelde, Dr. Tina Dalgaard, Dr. Jacob Pitcovski, Dr. Isabella Monne, Dr. Siamak Zohari, Dr. Helen Verheije, and Dr. Mariette Ducatez and all researchers for sharing the information on IBV during the COST action FA 1207.


This study was funded by TUBITAK: Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (Project No: 113O411), Developing Scholars Program (DSP), Kansas State University, Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Inquiry; DHS Center of Excellence for Emerging and Zoonotic Animal Diseases (CEEZAD).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

National and international ethical rules were followed during this study.

Conflict of Interests

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Huseyin Yilmaz
    • 1
  • Bonto Faburay
    • 2
  • Nuri Turan
    • 1
  • Maira Cotton-Caballero
    • 2
  • Burhan Cetinkaya
    • 3
  • Aydin Gurel
    • 4
  • Aysun Yilmaz
    • 1
  • Utku Y. Cizmecigil
    • 1
  • Ozge Aydin
    • 1
  • Eda Altan Tarakci
    • 1
  • Erhan Bayraktar
    • 5
  • Juergen A. Richt
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of VirologyUniversity of Istanbul, Veterinary FacultyIstanbulTurkey
  2. 2.Department of Diagnostic Medicine and Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State, UniversityManhattanUSA
  3. 3.Department of Microbiology, Veterinary FacultyUniversity of FiratElazigTurkey
  4. 4.Department of Pathology, Veterinary FacultyUniversity of IstanbulIstanbulTurkey
  5. 5.CEVA Animal Health, Poultry DivisionMaslakTurkey

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