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Plant Cell Rep. 2018 Oct;37(10):1409-1417. doi: 10.1007/s00299-018-2293-6. Epub 2018 May 24.

Physcomitrella patens, a versatile synthetic biology chassis.

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Plant Biotechnology, Faculty of Biology, University of Freiburg, 79104, Freiburg, Germany.
BIOSS, Centre for Biological Signalling Studies, 79104, Freiburg, Germany.
Mosspiration Biotech IVS, 2970, Hørsholm, Denmark.
Department of Biotechnology and Biomedicine, Technical University of Denmark, 2800 Kgs, Lyngby, Denmark.


During three decades the moss Physcomitrella patens has been developed to a superb green cell factory with the first commercial products on the market. In the past three decades the moss P. patens has been developed from an obscure bryophyte to a model organism in basic biology, biotechnology, and synthetic biology. Some of the key features of this system include a wide range of Omics technologies, precise genome-engineering via homologous recombination with yeast-like efficiency, a certified good-manufacturing-practice production in bioreactors, successful upscaling to 500 L wave reactors, excellent homogeneity of protein products, superb product stability from batch-to-batch, and a reliable procedure for cryopreservation of cell lines in a master cell bank. About a dozen human proteins are being produced in P. patens as potential biopharmaceuticals, some of them are not only similar to their animal-produced counterparts, but are real biobetters with superior performance. A moss-made pharmaceutical successfully passed phase 1 clinical trials, a fragrant moss, and a cosmetic moss-product is already on the market, highlighting the economic potential of this synthetic biology chassis. Here, we focus on the features of mosses as versatile cell factories for synthetic biology and their impact on metabolic engineering.


Biopharmaceutical; Bioreactor; Fragrance; Gene targeting; Genome engineering; Green cell factory; Photobioreactor

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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