Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


W.M. Keck Science Department

Second Department

Science and Management

Reader 1

Larry Grill

Reader 2

Emily Wiley

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2017 Briana R. Halle


Infectious diseases remain a significant cause of human deaths, as approximately 15 million deaths were attributed to infectious diseases in 2010 (Dye, 2014). One such disease is rabies, which causes around 59,000 human deaths worldwide annually according to some estimates (Kessels et al., 2017). However, 95% of human deaths attributed to rabies occur in Asia and Africa (Singh et al., 2017). Rabies is preventable, yet it is still a major concern in developing, low-income countries that lack access to the medical care necessary to combat it (Hampson et al., 2015). Alternative techniques for low-cost vaccine production have the potential to resolve this issue. This research investigates the use of recombinant DNA techniques and plant biotechnology to produce a more cost-effective vaccine for rabies. Gene sequences from the rabies glycoprotein were inserted at the end of the coat protein portion of the Tobacco Mosaic Virus (TMV) genome. Plants were then infected with this recombinant virus, with hopes that TMV particles would assemble with proteins produced from the inserted glycoprotein sequence fused to the TMV coat protein. Results thus far suggest some of the sequences could be producing recombinant TMV particles, although issues involving successful extraction and reversion to wild type are still a challenge. Additionally, other research suggests that this is an effective method for vaccine development in general and for rabies.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.