Shalini Das*, Prodipta Roychowdhury and Upasana Banerjee
Molecular farming is a field linked to plant biotechnology which forms a major part of agricultural biotechnology. It combines the use of plants and techniques of biotechnology for the production of valuable proteins or other metabolites which are pharmaceutically and industrially important. The method helps in the creation, conservation, and utilization of genetic variation for the improvement of crop species. Molecular farming is executed by the methods of stable gene transfer, such as gene transfer to nuclei and plastid; transient transformation of crop species like viral vectors and Agrobacterium mediated transformation; and cell suspension technique. Transgenic plants as bioreactors have been the subject of worthwhile recognition concerning their advantages, such as the safety of recombinant proteins (antibodies, enzymes, vaccines, growth factors, etc.) that are free of mammalian toxins and pathogens, and their potential for the large-scale and low-cost production. For the expanding world population, vigorous agricultural production is necessary to satisfy food requirements, which is somehow fulfilled by molecular farming. This article reviews the principles of molecular farming, various cost-effective technologies, and strategies, their advantages and disadvantages, the technical advances that have helped to optimize the yield and quality of recombinant proteins, thereby making plant-based production systems suitable alternatives to the existing systems. Lastly, we will discuss the issue of biosafety and public acceptance of molecular farming products.
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