The recombinant protein expression by Bombyx mori nucleopolyhedrovirus (BmNPV) infecting silkworm larvae or pupae may endow us with a potent system for the production of large eukaryotic proteins. However, the screening of silkworm strains ideally suited to this method has scarcely been conducted. In the present study, we injected recombinant BmNPV containing a reporter gene, luciferase or DsRed, into hemocoel of fifth instar larvae of selected 12 silkworm strains. Among them, the strain d17 is found to be the highest in reporter expression from the intrinsic polyhedrin promoter of Autographa californica NPV or the silkworm actin A3 promoter. These results suggest that the d17 strain is highly permissive for BmNPV replication and is the most likely candidate of a "factory" for large-scale expression using the BmNPV bacmid system.
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