Molecular Farming

Agrobacterium-mediated transient expression


Our group uses molecular farming — recombinant production of a molecule of interest in whole plants and harvested biomass, to explore bioprocessing of targets not feasibly produced in industry-standard bioreactor systems.

Benefits of molecular farming include:

  • Rapid production
  • High throughput screening
  • Operational simplicity
  • Linear scalability
  • Low facility complexity
  • Inexpensive equipment
  • Reduced environmental impact

Transient expression in planta enables rapid production (0.1 -1 g/kg leaf biomass) in 8-10 days of induction. This has utility in rapid-response action to unanticipated threats, as well as for early in the pipeline high throughput screening.

Transgenic expression in planta provides the molecule with unique and natural encapsulation. This can be exploited to explore new and simpler drug delivery modalities and supply chain management.

Example publications:

1.)   Transient expression of tetrameric recombinant human butyrylcholinesterase in Nicotiana benthamiana 
2.)   Expression, purification, and biophysical characterization of a secreted anthrax decoy fusion protein in Nicotiana benthamiana