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Biotechnology for the Valorization of Plant Resources Using Plant Cells, Tissues and Organs

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Plant Sciences".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 July 2023) | Viewed by 10912

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Environmental Research and Innovation (ERIN) Department, Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST), L-4940 Hautcharage, Luxembourg
Interests: plant bioprocesses; plant cell wall; transcriptomics; plant secondary metabolites; plant tissue culture; plant molecular biology
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Guest Editor
Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST), Environmental Research and Innovation (ERIN) Department, 5, Avenue des Hauts-Fourneaux, L-4362 Esch/Alzette, Luxembourg
Interests: plant metabolites, plant polymers (suberin, cutin), transcriptomics, molecular biology, genome editing, analytical chemistry, plant cell suspension culture

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Guest Editor
GreenTech Innovation Center, Environmental Research and Innovation Department, Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology, 5, Avenue des Hauts-Fourneaux, 4362 Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg
Interests: botany; biochemistry

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Guest Editor
Environmental Research and Innovation (ERIN) Department, Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST), 5 Rue Bommel, Hautcharage, L-4940 Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Interests: plant biotechnologies; integrative biology; abiotic stress; plant cell and tissue culture; plant physiology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

It is a matter of fact that our dependence on petrochemicals needs to be reduced in order to promote the use and valorization of natural resources, thereby favoring the development of a sustainable economy with a low C-footprint.

Plants take a prominent position in innovation that contributes to reaching supranational developmental targets such as climate change mitigation, food security and safety, and circular economy. Plants indeed provide lignocellulosics used as feedstock, and plant cells are factories producing specialized metabolites that are interesting for nutraceuticals, cosmeceuticals, and pharmaceuticals. Concerning this last aspect, prospecting the natural biodiversity of plants for added-value compounds is necessary to find novel bioactive ingredients. However, often, to reach industrial demands, it is necessary to produce such bioactives in high amounts.

Using approaches such as genome editing and synthetic biology, metabolic engineering of plant cells enables the optimization of the production of such added-value compounds used in different sectors. Some examples are the heterologous expression of single or multiples genes, of master regulators, or of synthetic scaffolds favoring substrate channeling, as well as the suppression of competitive metabolic pathways subtracting intermediates.

A key step related to this is the establishment of different culture systems for plant cells, tissues or organs and the propagation of established in vitro cultures with the desired characteristics. Bioprocess engineering is crucial to make the transition from proof-of-principle or pilot scales to economic reality and thus generate a societal and/or economic impact.

This Special Issue is linked to the International conference on Plant Molecular Farming “Phytofactories 2023” which will take place from June 7th to 9th in Luxembourg City (https://www.phytofactories2023.lu/) and aims at attracting the interest of the scientific community engaged in plant cell and tissue culture, synthetic biology, and metabolic engineering for the improvement of specific features, systems biology and bioprocess engineering. For example, contributions (in the form of original research or review papers) covering the entire value chain from the establishment of plant cell cultures, metabolic engineering, up to the optimization of bioprocesses are welcome. 

Dr. Gea Guerriero
Dr. Sylvain Legay
Dr. Kjell Sergeant
Dr. Jean-Francois Hausman
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Plant in vitro culture
  • Plant cell culture
  • Metabolic engineering
  • Synthetic biology
  • Bioprocess engineering

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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17 pages, 3815 KiB  
Article
Optimization of Anthocyanin Production in Tobacco Cells
by Andrea Carpi, Md Abdur Rahim, Angela Marin, Marco Armellin, Paola Brun, Giovanni Miotto, Renzo Dal Monte and Livio Trainotti
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(18), 13711; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241813711 - 5 Sep 2023
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Abstract
Plant cell cultures have emerged as a promising tool for producing active molecules due to their numerous advantages over traditional agricultural methods. Flavonols, and anthocyanin pigments in particular, together with other phenolic compounds such as chlorogenic acid, are known for their beneficial health [...] Read more.
Plant cell cultures have emerged as a promising tool for producing active molecules due to their numerous advantages over traditional agricultural methods. Flavonols, and anthocyanin pigments in particular, together with other phenolic compounds such as chlorogenic acid, are known for their beneficial health properties, mainly due to their antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory activities. The synthesis of these molecules is finely regulated in plant cells and controlled at the transcriptional level by specific MYB and bHLH transcription factors that coordinate the transcription of structural biosynthetic genes. The co-expression of peach PpMYB10.1 and PpbHLH3 in tobacco was used to develop tobacco cell lines showing high expression of both the peach transgenes and the native flavonol structural genes. These cell lines were further selected for fast growth. High production levels of chlorogenic acid, anthocyanins (mainly cyanidin 3-rutinoside), and other phenolics were also achieved in pre-industrial scale-up trials. A single-column-based purification protocol was developed to produce a lyophile called ANT-CA, which was stable over time, showed beneficial effects on cell viability, and had antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and wound-healing activities. This lyophile could be a valuable ingredient for food or cosmetic applications. Full article
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21 pages, 2401 KiB  
Article
Transcriptomic Changes in Internode Explants of Stinging Nettle during Callogenesis
by Xuan Xu, Sylvain Legay, Roberto Berni, Jean-Francois Hausman and Gea Guerriero
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(22), 12319; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms222212319 - 15 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2540
Abstract
Callogenesis, the process during which explants derived from differentiated plant tissues are subjected to a trans-differentiation step characterized by the proliferation of a mass of cells, is fundamental to indirect organogenesis and the establishment of cell suspension cultures. Therefore, understanding how callogenesis takes [...] Read more.
Callogenesis, the process during which explants derived from differentiated plant tissues are subjected to a trans-differentiation step characterized by the proliferation of a mass of cells, is fundamental to indirect organogenesis and the establishment of cell suspension cultures. Therefore, understanding how callogenesis takes place is helpful to plant tissue culture, as well as to plant biotechnology and bioprocess engineering. The common herbaceous plant stinging nettle (Urtica dioica L.) is a species producing cellulosic fibres (the bast fibres) and a whole array of phytochemicals for pharmacological, nutraceutical and cosmeceutical use. Thus, it is of interest as a potential multi-purpose plant. In this study, callogenesis in internode explants of a nettle fibre clone (clone 13) was studied using RNA-Seq to understand which gene ontologies predominate at different time points. Callogenesis was induced with the plant growth regulators α-napthaleneacetic acid (NAA) and 6-benzyl aminopurine (BAP) after having determined their optimal concentrations. The process was studied over a period of 34 days, a time point at which a well-visible callus mass developed on the explants. The bioinformatic analysis of the transcriptomic dataset revealed specific gene ontologies characterizing each of the four time points investigated (0, 1, 10 and 34 days). The results show that, while the advanced stage of callogenesis is characterized by the iron deficiency response triggered by the high levels of reactive oxygen species accumulated by the proliferating cell mass, the intermediate and early phases are dominated by ontologies related to the immune response and cell wall loosening, respectively. Full article
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24 pages, 2286 KiB  
Article
Towards a Cardoon (Cynara cardunculus var. altilis)-Based Biorefinery: A Case Study of Improved Cell Cultures via Genetic Modulation of the Phenylpropanoid Pathway
by Dario Paolo, Franca Locatelli, Eleonora Cominelli, Raul Pirona, Sara Pozzo, Giulia Graziani, Alberto Ritieni, Monica De Palma, Teresa Docimo, Marina Tucci and Francesca Sparvoli
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(21), 11978; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms222111978 - 5 Nov 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2927
Abstract
Cultivated cardoon (Cynara cardunculus var. altilis L.) is a promising candidate species for the development of plant cell cultures suitable for large-scale biomass production and recovery of nutraceuticals. We set up a protocol for Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation, which can be used [...] Read more.
Cultivated cardoon (Cynara cardunculus var. altilis L.) is a promising candidate species for the development of plant cell cultures suitable for large-scale biomass production and recovery of nutraceuticals. We set up a protocol for Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation, which can be used for the improvement of cardoon cell cultures in a frame of biorefinery. As high lignin content determines lower saccharification yields for the biomass, we opted for a biotechnological approach, with the purpose of reducing lignin content; we generated transgenic lines overexpressing the Arabidopsis thaliana MYB4 transcription factor, a known repressor of lignin/flavonoid biosynthesis. Here, we report a comprehensive characterization, including metabolic and transcriptomic analyses of AtMYB4 overexpression cardoon lines, in comparison to wild type, underlining favorable traits for their use in biorefinery. Among these, the improved accessibility of the lignocellulosic biomass to degrading enzymes due to depletion of lignin content, the unexpected increased growth rates, and the valuable nutraceutical profiles, in particular for hydroxycinnamic/caffeoylquinic and fatty acids profiles. Full article
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Review

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24 pages, 2529 KiB  
Review
Opportunities and Challenges of In Vitro Tissue Culture Systems in the Era of Crop Genome Editing
by Zelalem Eshetu Bekalu, Michael Panting, Inger Bæksted Holme and Henrik Brinch-Pedersen
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(15), 11920; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241511920 - 25 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1890
Abstract
Currently, the development of genome editing (GE) tools has provided a wide platform for targeted modification of plant genomes. However, the lack of versatile DNA delivery systems for a large variety of crop species has been the main bottleneck for improving crops with [...] Read more.
Currently, the development of genome editing (GE) tools has provided a wide platform for targeted modification of plant genomes. However, the lack of versatile DNA delivery systems for a large variety of crop species has been the main bottleneck for improving crops with beneficial traits. Currently, the generation of plants with heritable mutations induced by GE tools mostly goes through tissue culture. Unfortunately, current tissue culture systems restrict successful results to only a limited number of plant species and genotypes. In order to release the full potential of the GE tools, procedures need to be species and genotype independent. This review provides an in-depth summary and insights into the various in vitro tissue culture systems used for GE in the economically important crops barley, wheat, rice, sorghum, soybean, maize, potatoes, cassava, and millet and uncovers new opportunities and challenges of already-established tissue culture platforms for GE in the crops. Full article
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