Fermentation icon Fermentation
Plant-based icon Plant-Based

Plants as a recombinant protein expression platform

Crop plants used as recombinant protein production hosts could offer benefits of minimal processing, cheaper equipment, and fewer downstream purification costs.

Production platform
  • Plant-based icon Plant-Based
  • Fermentation icon Fermentation
Solution category
  • Research
  • Commercial
Value chain segment
  • R&D
  • Production
  • Raw Materials, Ingredients, & Inputs
Technology sector
  • Ingredient optimization
  • Crop development
Relevant actor
  • Academics
  • Industry
  • Startups
Maturity level
  • 2 – Early adoption


Microorganisms are typically used as recombinant protein hosts but plants can also serve as expression platforms. Crop plants used as production hosts may require minimal processing into value-added ingredients, such as baking flour with integrated egg and dairy functional proteins. Plants offer ready scalability with less need for expensive equipment or downstream purification to isolate proteins of interest from inedible or undesirable hosts. Companies like Mozza and Tiamat Sciences have recently emerged to explore opportunities in this area, but there is likely room for additional entrants.

Lab partners looking in microscope

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Female scientist doing alternative protein research in a lab

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