Crop Biotech Update

Researchers Use NBTs to Develop Tobacco Plants as Biofactories

March 7, 2018

Researchers at the Molecular and Cellular Plant Biology Institute (IBMCP) of the Universitat Politècnica de València in Spain, along with the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), are collaborating for the NEWCOTIANA project, a research and innovation initiative, which makes use of new plant breeding technologies to produce medicine, cosmetics, and other products of added value in tobacco plants.

Tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) is a crop used to produce cigarettes, which science has established as harmful for people's health. However, tobacco plants can also be used to provide beneficial effects for human health. The NEWCOTIANA project will apply high accuracy New Breeding Techniques (NBTs) to turn tobacco leaves and those of a similar species called Nicotiana benthamiana into biofactories of health-promoting substances such as anti-ageing or anti-inflammatory agents, and medicines such as vaccines or antibodies.

"We will generate new varieties of tobacco and N. benthamiana that safely work as biofactories to harvest medical substances of high added value," explains Diego Orzáez, researcher for the CSIC and coordinator of the NEWCOTIANA project."

For more, read the news release (in Spanish) in the RUVID website.