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Biotechnol Adv. 2009 Nov-Dec;27(6):811-32. doi: 10.1016/j.biotechadv.2009.06.004. Epub 2009 Jun 30.

Plants as bioreactors: Recent developments and emerging opportunities.

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Department of Plant Molecular Biology, University of Delhi South Campus, New Delhi 110021, India.


In recent years, the use of plants as bioreactors has emerged as an exciting area of research and significant advances have created new opportunities. The driving forces behind the rapid growth of plant bioreactors include low production cost, product safety and easy scale up. As the yield and concentration of a product is crucial for commercial viability, several strategies have been developed to boost up protein expression in transgenic plants. Augmenting tissue-specific transcription, elevating transcript stability, tissue-specific targeting, translation optimization and sub-cellular accumulation are some of the strategies employed. Various kinds of products that are currently being produced in plants include vaccine antigens, medical diagnostics proteins, industrial and pharmaceutical proteins, nutritional supplements like minerals, vitamins, carbohydrates and biopolymers. A large number of plant-derived recombinant proteins have reached advanced clinical trials. A few of these products have already been introduced in the market.

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