Recovery of Recombinant and Native Proteins from Rice and Corn Seed
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Plants are potential sources of valuable recombinant and native proteins that can be purified for pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, and food applications. Transgenic rice and corn germ were evaluated for the production of novel protein products. This dissertation addresses: 1) the extraction and purification of the recombinant protein, human lysozyme (HuLZ), from transgenic rice and 2) the processing of dry-milled corn germ for the production of high protein germ and corn protein concentrate (CPC). The factors affecting the extraction and purification of HuLZ from rice were evaluated. Ionic strength and pH was used to optimize HuLZ extraction and cation exchange purification. The selected conditions, pH 4.5 with 50 mM NaCl, were a compromise between HuLZ extractability and binding capacity, resulting in 90% purity. Process simulation was used to assess the HuLZ purification efficiency and showed that the processing costs were comparable to native lysozyme purification from egg-white, the current predominant lysozyme source. Higher purity HuLZ (95%) could be achieved using pH 4.5 extraction followed by pH 6 adsorption, but the binding capacity was unexpectedly reduced by 80%. The rice impurity, phytic acid, was identified as the potential cause of the unacceptably low capacity. Enzymatic (phytase) treatment prior to adsorption improved purification, implicating phytic acid as the primary culprit. Two processing methods were proposed to reduce this interference: 1) pH 10 extraction followed by pH 4.5 precipitation and pH 6 adsorption and 2) pH 4.5 extraction and pH 6 adsorption in the presence of TRIS counter-ions. Both methods improved the binding capacity from 8.6 mg/mL to >25 mg/mL and maintained HuLZ purity. Processing of dry-milled corn germ to increase protein and oil content was evaluated using germ wet milling. In this novel method, dry-milled germ is soaked and wet processed to produce higher value protein products. Lab-scale and pilot-scale experiments identified soaking conditions that reduced germ starch content, enhanced protein and oil content, and maintained germ PDI (protein dispersibility index). Soaking at neutral pH and 25 degrees C maintained germ PDI and improved CPC yield from defatted germ flour. CPC with greater than 75% protein purity was produced using protein precipitation or membrane filtration.
Corn protein concentrate
Germ wet milling
Wilken, Lisa Rachelle (2009). Recovery of Recombinant and Native Proteins from Rice and Corn Seed. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from