LettUsGROW trial growing Nicotiana benthamiana with aeroponics
Added on 01 November 2022
Nicotiana benthamiana is a plant widely used as a model organism in research, including for plant pathology and pharmaceutical research. This area of biotechnology research hopes to be able to use plants to produce pharmaceuticals that could be useful in treating cancers, infectious diseases and to create vaccinations.
Nicotiana benthamiana is a nicotiana plant indingenous to Australia and a close relative to the tobacco plant. It is often used in plant-based biotechnology research as it is easily infected, and so can be used to develop treatments both more quickly and for a wider variety of uses or ailments.
Currently, the proteins needed in this work are either harvested from the natural environment, or produced artificially in labs. By producing plants instead, scientists would be able to harvest these proteins on a much greater scale. Growing in controlled environments such as vertical farms also means there is additional control over plant irrigation, nutrition and any environmental conditions set by government regulations.
All Photos Courtesy of LettUsGROW