Public University of Navarre

Academic year: 2017/2018
Bachelor's degree in Agricultural, Food and Rural Environment Engineering at the Universidad Pública de Navarra
Course code: 501005 Subject title: MOLECULAR FARMING: PLANTS AS BIOFACTORIES
Credits: 3 Type of subject: Optative Year: 4 Period: 1º S

Partes de este texto:


Module/Subject matter




Transgenic plants.

Plants as chemical and pharmaceutical factories

Production technology

Legal framework and biosecurity of molecular farming production.



Biotechnology, transgenic plants, biopharmaceuticals, innovation


General proficiencies

TC1: Ability to develop activities in the field of Rural and Agrifood Engineering, assuming a social, ethical, and environmental commitment.
TC2 Oral and written communication skills.
TC6 Ability to learn autonomously.
TC7 Ability to solve problems with creativity, initiative, methodology, and critical thinking.


Specific proficiencies


SC12: Ability to recognize and utilize the base principles of animal production. Ability to define and design livestock facilities.

SC18: Ability to transfer technology; understand, interpret, communicate, and adopt advances in the field of agriculture.


Learning outcomes

R1- To know, understand and apply the molecular underpinnings and biotechnological techniques in the production of recombinant proteins in plants.

R2- To know the applications of the molecular farming

R3- To know the legal framework and biosecurity issues of products obtained by molecular farming



Methodology - Activity Classroom hours Non-classroom hours
A-1 Lectures    5
A-2 Practice    
A-3 Debates, knowledge pooling, group mentoring    
A-4 Homework   15
A-5 Reading Material   38
A-6 Personal study   15
A-7 Exams, assessment tests  2  
A-8 Indivual mentoring    
Total  2 73






Knowledge of the basic concepts of the subject: answering of questionnaires for each of the presented topic (50%).

Preparation of a individual presentation on a scientific article (40%).

Participation in discussion forums and use of tutorials (10%).



0 - Transgenic plants: concept and methods of plant transformation.

1 - Plants as chemical and pharmaceutical factories: production of therapeutic proteins, antibodies, vaccines, enzymes and proteins of industrial use.

2 - Recommended crops on molecular farming: mono - or dicotyledons; annual or perennial; biomass index; production on leaf crops, seeds or fruits.

3 - Production technology: stable or transient expression; expression in nucleus or plastids; expression with viral vectors or agroinfiltracion; bioreactors; systems to optimize the expression of the transgene.

4 - Post-translational modifications of biopharmaceutical compounds produced in plants. Molecular farming and enterprise.

5 - Legal framework and biosecurity of molecular farming production.



Access the bibliography that your professor has requested from the Library.

Basic bibliography:

Genoma España. Plantas biofactoría: informe de vigilancia tecnológica. 2005.

Complementary bibliography:

Christou P y Klee H. Handbook of plant biotechnology (volume 2). Editorial John Wiley and Sons, Ltd. 2004.

Erickson L, Yu WJ, Brandle J y Rymerson R. Molecular farming of plants and animals for human and veterinary medicine. Editorial Kluwer Academic Publishers. 2002.

Faye L y Gomord V. Recombinant proteins from plants. Editorial Humana Press. 2009.

Fischer R y Schillberg S. Molecular farming: plant-made pharmaceuticals and technical proteins. Editorial Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH. 2004.

Hammond BG. Food safety of proteins in agricultural biotechnology. Editorial CRC Press. 2008.

Hood EE y Howard JA. Plants as factories for protein production. Editorial Kluwer Academic Publishers. 2002.

Walsh G. Biopharmaceuticals: biochemistry and biotechnology (2nd edition). Editorial John Wiley and Sons, Ltd. 2003.