Public University of Navarre

Academic year: 2024/2025 | Previous academic years:  2023/2024  |  2022/2023  |  2021/2022  |  2020/2021 
Bachelor's degree in Innovation on Food Processes and Products at the Universidad Pública de Navarra
Course code: 502005 Subject title: MOLECULAR FARMING: PLANTS AS BIOFACTORIES
Credits: 3 Type of subject: Optative Year: 4 Period: 1º S
Department: Agronomía, Biotecnología y Alimentación

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.


General proficiencies

CB3    Students are able to compile and interpret relevant information (normally within their area of study) in order to voice opinions which include reflection on relevant themes of a social, scientific or ethical nature.


Specific proficiencies

CE4    To know the basic aspects of legislation related to Food and Food Innovation. The capacity to know and understand the principles of food-related legislation and standards. The capacity to interpret legislation and reports related to the food industry concerning innovation in processes and products, and matters related to the protection of intellectual property and sources of public and private funding.


CE6    To know the composition of the chief types of food, how they are processed and preserved, and quality parameters. To know the techniques with which to evaluate, control and manage food quality. To be familiar with biotechnical applications in the agrifood industry.


CE8    To be familiar with local food, national food and food from other parts of the world as a basis for food innovation projects. To be familiar with the different trends in eating habits.


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




Weight (%) It allows
test resit
required grade




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.