Magnifection--a new platform for expressing recombinant vaccines in plants

Vaccine. 2005 Mar 18;23(17-18):2042-8. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2005.01.006.


Today, plant biotechnology relies on two processes for delivery and expression of heterologous genes in plants: stable genetic transformation and transient infection with viral vectors. Although much faster, the transient route until recently was limited because of virus' low infectivity and its inability to carry average-size or larger transgenes. A recently developed new generation transfection technology overcomes these limitations by relying on Agrobacterium as an infective systemic agent that delivers viral replicons. This improved process is being used to simultaneously start transient gene amplification and high-level expression in all mature leaves of a plant, and such a transfection can be done on an industrial scale. This eclectic technology, called 'magnifection', combines advantages of three biological systems: vector efficiency and efficient systemic DNA delivery of Agrobacterium, speed and expression level/yield of a plant RNA virus, as well as posttranslational capabilities and low production costs of a plant. The proposed process allows for industrial production that does not require genetic modification of plants, that is much faster than previous methods, and that is biologically safe. Numerous applications in the area of vaccine manufacturing are being discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Gene Expression
  • Genetic Engineering
  • Genetic Techniques
  • Genetic Vectors
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / genetics
  • Plant Viruses / genetics
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / genetics*
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / immunology*
  • Plastids / genetics
  • Recombinant Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Recombinant Proteins / genetics
  • Recombinant Proteins / immunology
  • Safety
  • Transfection / methods*
  • Vaccines, Synthetic / biosynthesis*
  • Vaccines, Synthetic / genetics*
  • Vaccines, Synthetic / isolation & purification


  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Vaccines, Synthetic
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins