Last november I started working on my Bachelor thesis Plant Sciences at the Nematology and LMA department. I was to continue research done on the production of a cis-adjuvant in Nicotiana benthamiana. A cis-adjuvant is an immune stimulant attached to the protein used for vaccination, a novel idea because adjuvantia are added separately at this time.
In my case the cis-adjuvant was a glycosylation modification on the protein ovalbumin. Through transient expression of ovalbumin in N. benthamiana in which two glycosylation genes had been silenced a recombinant protein could be produced. My task was to evaluate the gene silencing, improve the ovalbumin purification protocol and to assess the characteristics of the plant produced protein. It was a lot of work, but in the end I achieved good results which clarified questions we had and allowed for further research to be done.
Working at the department was enjoyable because everyone was helpful, even if my questions were silly to them. I was surprized at the amount of cookies and other sweets people were bringing in every day to share during the coffee break and how little this seemed to affect everyone’s weight! All in all I enjoyed doing my thesis there and I hope some of you will read my thesis report!