Plant-made nervous necrosis virus-like particles protect fish against disease

Johanna Marsian, Daniel L. Hurdiss, Neil A. Ranson, Anneli Ritala, Richard Paley, Irene Cano, George P. Lomonossoff

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    26 Citations (Scopus)


    Virus-like particles (VLPs) of the fish virus, Atlantic Cod Nervous necrosis virus (ACNNV), were successfully produced by transient expression of the coat protein in Nicotiana benthamiana plants. VLPs could also be produced in transgenic tobacco BY-2 cells. The protein extracted from plants self-assembled into T = 3 particles, that appeared to be morphologically similar to previously analyzed NNV VLPs when analyzed by high resolution cryo-electron microscopy. Administration of the plant-produced VLPs to sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) showed that they could protect the fish against subsequent virus challenge, indicating that plant-produced vaccines may have a substantial future role in aquaculture.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number880
    JournalFrontiers in Plant Science
    Publication statusPublished - 9 Jul 2019
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    At the John Innes Centre (JIC) this work was supported by the UK Biotechnological and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) grant BB/M027856/1, Institute Strategic Programme Grants “Understanding and Exploiting Plant and Microbial Secondary Metabolism” (BB/J004596/1) and “Molecules from Nature – Enhanced Research Capacity” (BBS/E/J/000PR9794) and the John Innes Foundation. At VTT the work was supported by Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (2145/312/2014) and VTT. We thank the Wellcome Trust for Ph.D. Studentship support to DLH (102572/B/13/Z).


    • Atlantic cod nervous necrosis virus
    • Protective immunity
    • Sea bass
    • Transient expression
    • Virus-like particles


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