Multi-scale engineering of plant cell cultures for promotion of specialized metabolism

Sarah A. Wilson, Elizabeth M. Cummings, Susan C. Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


To establish plant culture systems for product synthesis, a multi-scale engineering approach is necessary. At the intracellular level, the influx of 'omics' data has necessitated development of new methods to properly annotate and establish useful metabolic models that can be applied to elucidate unknown steps in specialized metabolite biosynthesis, define effective metabolic engineering strategies and increase enzyme diversity available for synthetic biology platforms. On an intercellular level, the presence of aggregates in culture leads to distinct metabolic sub-populations. Recent advances in flow cytometric analyses and mass spectrometry imaging allow for resolution of metabolites on the single cell level, providing an increased understanding of culture heterogeneity. Finally, extracellular engineering can be used to enhance culture performance through media manipulation, co-culture with bacteria, the use of exogenous elicitors or modulation of shear stress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-170
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Biotechnology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
SAW would like to acknowledge the support of the National Science Foundation -sponsored Institute for Cellular Engineering IGERT program (DGE-0654128).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering


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