Public University of Navarre

Academic year: 2023/2024 | Previous academic years:  2022/2023 
Bachelor's degree in Agricultural, Food and Rural Environment Engineering at the Universidad Pública de Navarra
Course code: 511005 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

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




Weight (%) It allows
test resit
required grade

If the student did not get the minimum grade to weigh in any of the activities, the grade of the subject would be 4.9 out of 10 at most (fail). 



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.