• Open Access

Genetically stable expression of functional miraculin, a new type of alternative sweetener, in transgenic tomato plants


* Correspondence (fax +81 29 853 7263; e-mail: ezura@gene.tsukuba.ac.jp)


Miraculin is a taste-modifying protein isolated from the red berries of Richadella dulcifica, a shrub native to West Africa. Miraculin by itself is not sweet, but it is able to turn a sour taste into a sweet taste. This unique property has led to increasing interest in this protein. In this article, we report the high-yield production of miraculin in transgenic tomato plants. High and genetically stable expression of miraculin was confirmed by Western blot analysis and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Recombinant miraculin accumulated to high levels in leaves and fruits, up to 102.5 and 90.7 µg/g fresh weight, respectively. Purified recombinant miraculin expressed in transgenic tomato plants showed strong sweetness-inducing activity, similar to that of native miraculin. These results demonstrate that recombinant miraculin was correctly processed in transgenic tomato plants, and that this production system could be a good alternative to production from the native plant.