Biotech Updates

Dwarf Phenotype Enables Growth of More Plant Factories in a Given Space

July 22, 2015

Production in a contained, environmentally controlled ‘plant factory' may provide a cost-effective method to produce pharmaceuticals and other high-value products. However, this may require modification of the host plant phenotype, such as using dwarf plants since it enables the growth of more plants in a given space.

Yukari Nagatoshi and Miho Ikeda from the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Japan developed dwarf tobacco plants, AtIBH1SRDX, via the expression of the chimeric repressor of Arabidopsis, AtIBH1. The team estimated that they can grow five times more dwarf transgenic tobacco plants than wild-type plants in a given space.

The AtIBH1SRDX plants also showed reduced biomass than wild types. The team also found that the production of recombinant proteins per unit fresh weight did not significantly differ between wild-type and AtIBH1SRDX plants. The results provide a useful tool for the modification of plant phenotype for cost-effective production of high-value products.

For more on the study, read the article on Plant Biotechnology Journal.