Plant Biotechnology - BIOREATTORI VEGETALI (2013/2014)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Mario Pezzotti
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
I semestre dal Oct 1, 2013 al Jan 31, 2014.

To show the organization of the course that includes this module, follow this link * Course organization

Lesson timetable

Learning outcomes

Mankind has used plants as a source of raw materials and medicines for thousands of years. From the earliest stages of civilization, plant extracts have been used to ob¬tain technical materials and drugs to ease suffering and cure disease. Since the late seventies, many valuable therapeutic and diagnostic proteins have been discovered through molecular biology research and molecular medicine, but widespread use of these molecules has been hampered by production bottlenecks such as low yields, poor and inconsistent product quality and a shortage of production capacity. In the late 1980s, the application of recombinant DNA and protein technology in plants al¬lowed the exploration of plant-based expression systems for the production of safer and cheaper protein medicines. Over the last decade, plants have emerged as a convenient, safe and economical alternative to mainstream expression systems which are based on the large-scale culture of microbes or animal cells, or transgenic animals. The production of plant-made pharmaceuticals and technical proteins is known as Molecular Farming. The objective of this course is to illustrate how to harness the power of agriculture to cultivate and harvest plants or plant cells producing recombi¬nant therapeutics, diagnostics, industrial enzymes and green chemicals.


• Protein expression systems in planta:
transient: plant virus as vectors
stable: nuclear transformation, plastid transformation
• Sub cellular target
• Organ specific expression (seed)
• Cell suspension and hairy roots
• Host plant and model
• “Food” and “non food” plants
• Green algi
• Molecules:
• Post translation modification in plants
Glycosilation in plants
• Quantification of recombinant proteins
• Biological properties of the molecules
• Extraction and purification processes downstream processes
• Clinical studies

Assessment methods and criteria

Oral examination