Bioreactor technology: A novel industrial tool for high-tech production of bioactive molecules and biopharmaceuticals from plant roots

Ganapathy Sivakumar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

55 Citations (Scopus)


Plants are the richest source for different bioactive molecules. Because of the vast number of side effects associated with synthetic pharmaceuticals, medical biotechnologists turned to nature to provide new promising therapeutic molecules from plant biofactories. The large-scale availability of the disease- and pesticide-free raw material is, however, restricted in vivo. Many bioactive plant secondary metabolites are accumulated in roots. Engineered plants can also produce human therapeutic proteins. Vaccines and diagnostic monoclonal antibodies can be won from their roots, so that engineered plants hold immense potential for the biopharmaceutical industry. To obtain sufficient amounts of the plant bioactive molecules for application in human therapy, adventitious and hairy roots have to be cultured in in vitro systems. High-tech pilot-scale bioreactor technology for the establishment of a long-term adventitious root culture from biopharmaceutical plants has recently been established. In this review, I briefly discuss a technology for cultivating bioactive molecule-rich adventitious and hairy roots from plants using a high-tech bioreactor system, as well as the principles and application of genome-restructuring mechanisms for plant-based biopharmaceutical production from roots. High-tech bioreactor-derived bioactive phytomolecules and biopharmaceuticals hold the prospect of providing permanent remedies for improving human well-being. © 2006 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1419 - 1427
Number of pages9
JournalBiotechnology Journal
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2006
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Molecular Medicine

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