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Recovery of bovine lysozyme from transgenic sugarcane stalks: extraction, membrane filtration, and purification


Increased industrial use of sugarcane (Saccharum spp. hybrid) for food and bioenergy has led to considerable improvements in its genetic transformation, which allowed the development of not only pest- and herbicide-resistant lines but also lines expressing high-value bioproducts and biopolymers. However, the economic benefits of using inexpensive transgenic plant systems for the production of industrial proteins could be offset by high downstream processing costs. In this work, transgenic sugarcane expressing recombinant bovine lysozyme (BvLz) was used to evaluate the feasibility of extraction and fractionation of recombinant proteins expressed in sugarcane stalks. Three pH levels (4.5, 6.0 and 7.5) and three salt concentrations (0, 50, and 150 mM NaCl) were tested to determine BvLz and total protein extractability. Two extraction conditions were selected to prepare BvLz extracts for further processing by cross-flow filtration, a suitable method for concentration and conditioning of extracts for direct applications or prior to chromatography. Partial removal of native proteins was achieved using a 100 kDa membrane but 20–30 % of the extracted BvLz was lost. Concentration of clarified extracts using a 3 kDa membrane resulted in twofold purification and 65 % recovery of BvLz. Loading of concentrated sugarcane extract on hydrophobic interaction chromatography (HIC) resulted in 50 % BvLz purity and 69 % recovery of BvLz.

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The authors thank BioCane, Inc., a subsidiary of Growers Research Group, LLC. for the financial support.

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Correspondence to Z. L. Nikolov.

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Barros, G.O.F., Ballen, M.A.T., Woodard, S.L. et al. Recovery of bovine lysozyme from transgenic sugarcane stalks: extraction, membrane filtration, and purification. Bioprocess Biosyst Eng 36, 1407–1416 (2013).

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  • Sugarcane
  • Bovine lysozyme (BvLz)
  • Recombinant protein extraction
  • Membrane filtration
  • Downstream processing