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Illustration of DNA and plant structure for article on synthetic biology and plants.
Published On: August 23rd, 2022

Plant synthetic biology utilizes existing nutritive plant value to identify biological pathways and generate alternative resources of food, medicines, and other products. These redesigned organisms have a different genetic code consisting of longer DNA matter as compared to the original plant.

For example, the common aspirin’s main ingredient, salicin, was derived from salicylic acid extract taken from willow bark to transform worldwide how individuals manage pain. Additionally, traditionally medicinal plants such as Salidroside obtained from the Rhodiola Rose stabilizes mood, and prevents fatigue, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.

To promote plant synthetic biology, researchers develop modern sequencing techniques to evolve natural bioactive compounds so they can discover complex pathways.

To see how synthetic biology is used in the real world and learn the benefits of plant synthetic technology, keep reading.

Synthetic Biology Definition

The plant world hasn’t stopped evolving. Synthetic biology similar to genome editing redesigns organisms to repurpose them for a different useful life. These created life forms can remove pollutants from water and air, produce Vitamin A, or make new scents for the fragrance and perfume industry.

Scientists use synthetic biology to produce valuable chemicals to treat diseases and create foods. They study microbes at unicellular levels to maximize production of nutrients and phytochemicals.

Synthetic Biology Applications

Biologists, scientists, engineers, and others work together to find ways to combine genetic structures into purposeful real-life products used everyday.

Yeast Synthetic Biology: 

Laboratory-synthesized yeast is available to make baked goods and treat diseases. Researchers segregate therapeutic proteins into pharmaceutical organisms that the public can use safely.

Bioremediation:

Microorganisms are used to clean up the air, water, and land. Examples include removing soil contamination and oil spills by adding fungi, green plants, enzymes, nitrate, and sulfate fertilizers to the soil or water.

Modified Crops:

Biologists develop new traits of species to resist pests, diseases, and weather conditions. Genetically modified crops produce proteins that are toxic to pests but not to humans and animals. Popular modified crops include corn syrup, soybean oil, potatoes, apples, and foods for animals.

Latex and Rubber:

Plant families such as milkweed, mulberry, and the chicory tribe of the sunflower family contain latex used to make natural latex mattresses, beauty application pads, and cushioning. Ninety percent of natural rubber is derived from the Brazilian rubber tree.

BioAcrylics:

Renewable bio-based acrylic reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 75% and reduces dependence on oil. BioAcrylic is used to make diapers, adhesives, textiles, detergents, and water treatment chemicals.

Vaccines:

Life Technology and GeneArt scientists developed a custom gene vaccine to treat HIV patients and a synthetic H1N1 protein for swine flu.

Research and development is ongoing but numerous other products exist that originated using plant synthetic biology.

Benefits of Plant Synthetic Biology

As synthetic biology evolves, products with useful purposes are available to consumers across the globe and provide advantages like these.

  • Alleviate malnutrition
  • Improve human health
  • Design new health products to treat diseases
  • Reduce pollution
  • Create new products to save natural resources
  • Reduce usage of harmful chemicals
  • Develop agricultural nutrients
  • Create nutritive foods
  • Reduce therapeutic costs
  • Lessen vitamin deficiencies
  • Use plant synthetic biology to create life-saving vaccines
  • Find fuel substitutes

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