Different aspects of molecular farming introduced by most well known scientists gave us the better view on past, present and future of molecular farming.



Molecular Farming – How Plants Produce the Vaccines of Tomorrow

Cornelia Eisenach is a biologist doing research in physiology and cell biology of plants at the University of Glasgow.


Molecular Farming in Plants

The commonly used term ‘molecular farming’ describes the large‐scale production of valuable proteins in transgenic plants, including antibodies, vaccines, other pharmaceuticals and industrial proteins. Compared to traditionally used systems such as microbial cultures, plants offer many advantages with respect to economy, quality and safety. Especially attractive is the possibility to power protein production using natural sunlight and atmospheric carbon dioxide. Furthermore, transient expression systems offer the possibility to rapidly produce personalised pharmaceuticals otherwise impossible. Several production systems including algae, mosses, tissue‐ and cell cultures have been reported, enabling contained protein production. Combining these cell‐based production systems with newly developed photo‐bioreactors promises powerful solutions for cost‐efficient and safe manufacturing of valuable proteins. However, constraints concerning protein yield and public acceptance must be overcome before the plant’s full potential can be exploited.

Key Concepts:

  • Plant‐based production of proteins can be done in a wide range of systems including different species, tissues and organelles, for each protein the best combination must be identified.
  • Light‐driven production of bioactive‐proteins offers an eco‐friendly and sustainable alternative to conventional production systems.
  • Transient expression of proteins offers the possibility to cost efficiently produce customised pharmaceutical proteins.

Friedrich‐Alexander‐University, Germany.


Plant Molecular Farming: Much More than Medicines

By Marc Tschofen,1 Dietmar Knopp,2 Elizabeth Hood,3 and Eva Stöger1, June 2016.

Plants have emerged as commercially relevant production systems for pharmaceutical and nonpharmaceutical products. Currently, the commercially available nonpharmaceutical products outnumber the medical products of plant molecular farming, reflecting the shorter development times and lower regulatory burden of the former. Nonpharmaceutical products benefit more from the low costs and greater scalability of plant production systems without incurring the high costs associated with downstream processing and purification of pharmaceuticals. In this review, we explore the areas where plant-based manufacturing can make the greatest impact, focusing on commercialized products such as antibodies, enzymes, and growth factors that are used as research-grade or diagnostic reagents, cosmetic ingredients, and biosensors or biocatalysts. An outlook is provided on high-volume, low-margin proteins such as industrial enzymes that can be applied as crude extracts or unprocessed plant tissues in the feed, biofuel, and papermaking industries.

Annual Review of Analytical Chemistry. June 2016.

Advances in plant molecular farming

By Olawole O.Obembe, Jacob O.Popoola, SadhuLeelavathi, Siva V.Reddy. April 2011.

Plant molecular farming (PMF) is a new branch of plant biotechnology, where plants are engineered to produce recombinant pharmaceutical and industrial proteins in large quantities. As an emerging subdivision of the biopharmaceutical industry, PMF is still trying to gain comparable social acceptance as the already established production systems that produce these high valued proteins in microbial, yeast, or mammalian expression systems. This article reviews the various cost-effective technologies and strategies, which are being developed to improve yield and quality of the plant-derived pharmaceuticals, thereby making plant-based production system suitable alternatives to the existing systems. It also attempts to overview the different novel plant-derived pharmaceuticals and non-pharmaceutical protein products that are at various stages of clinical development or commercialization. It then discusses the biosafety and regulatory issues, which are crucial (if strictly adhered to) to eliminating potential health and environmental risks, which in turn is necessary to earning favorable public perception, thus ensuring the success of the industry.

Research review paper, Biotechnology Advances.