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J Virol. 1993 Aug;67(8):4566-79.

Efficient generation of infectious recombinant baculoviruses by site-specific transposon-mediated insertion of foreign genes into a baculovirus genome propagated in Escherichia coli.

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Cellular and Molecular Biochemistry, Monsanto Corporate Research, Chesterfield, Missouri 63198.


The construction and purification of recombinant baculovirus vectors for the expression of foreign genes in insect cells by standard transfection and plaque assay methods can take as long as 4 to 6 weeks. This period can be reduced to several days by using a novel baculovirus shuttle vector (bacmid) that can replicate in Escherichia coli as a plasmid and can infect susceptible lepidopteran insect cells. The bacmid is a recombinant virus that contains a mini-F replicon, a kanamycin resistance marker, and attTn7, the target site for the bacterial transposon Tn7. Expression cassettes comprising a baculovirus promoter driving expression of a foreign gene that is flanked by the left and right ends of Tn7 can transpose to the target bacmid in E. coli when Tn7 transposition functions are provided in trans by a helper plasmid. The foreign gene is expressed when the resulting composite bacmid is introduced into insect cells.

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