Edited by Stuart J. Smyth, Peter W.B. Phillips and David Castle
Chapter 50: Non-food GM crops: phytoremediation, industrial products and pharmaceuticals
Contemporary biotechnology has altered how society perceives and utilizes natural resources like plants and microbes, creating large transformations in agriculture, the chemical industry and health care. Innovations in this sector have given rise to new knowledge, products and processes which have helped fuel the economy. The landscape of science and technology has changed and more changes lie ahead. It is in this context that plant manufactured proteins (PMPs) will be discussed and their function in environmental remediation considered, including addressing the rising demand for therapeutic drugs and industrial feedstocks. This will be undertaken by reviewing three applications of genetically modified (GM) plants, used for phytoremediation (PR), industrial products and plant manufactured pharmaceuticals (PMPh). All three areas have expanded the technological applications of GM plants to address societal needs. As a result these technologies build relationships between environmental sustainability, strategies to control infectious diseases and biotechnology development.
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