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Biotechnol Annu Rev. 2005;11:69-99.

The duckweeds: a valuable plant for biomanufacturing.

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  • 1Department of Forestry, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-8002, USA.


Inherent characteristics of duckweed, including fast, clonal growth, small size and simple growth habit, argue for their use as a biomanufacturing platform for proteins, polymers and small molecules. This review addresses five areas relevant to commercialization of the duckweed platform: (1) the characteristics of wild-type duckweed and general cultural requirements; (2) the genetics and biochemistry of the plants and recent scientific developments that provide the technology necessary to genetically modify duckweed; (3) the advantages provided by inherent duckweed characteristics and genetic engineering technology relative to bioproduction; (4) recent progress towards commercialization of duckweed-based products and (5) the major research needs for further R&D.

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