Plant molecular farming describes the production of recombinant proteins and other secondary metabolites in plants. This technology depends on a genetic transformation of plants that can be accomplished by the methods of stable gene transfer, such as gene transfer to nuclei and chloroplasts, and unstable transfer methods like viral vectors. An increasing quest for biomedicines has coincided with the high costs and inefficient production systems (bacterial, microbial eukaryotes, mammalian cells, insect cells, and transgenic animals). Therefore, transgenic plants as the bioreactors of a new generation have been the subject of considerable attention with respect to their advantages, such as the safety of recombinant proteins (antibodies, enzymes, vaccines, growth factors, etc.), and their potential for the large-scale and low-cost production. However, the application of transgenic plants can entail some worrying concerns, namely the amplification and diffusion of transgene, accumulation of recombinant protein toxicity in the environment, contamination of food chain, and costs of subsequent processing. The given threats need to be the subject of further caution and investigation to generate valuable products, such as enzymes, pharmaceutical proteins, and biomedicines by the safest, cheapest, and most efficient methods.
Part of the book: Plants for the Future