Sustainable bioprocesses for recovery of high-value protein products from plants and microalgae
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t has been 25 years since the first heterologous protein was expressed in tobacco followed by an antibody expression in microalgae (Fisher et al., 2003; Nikolov and Woodard 2004; Woodard et al., 2009; Mayfield et al., 2003, Rasala et al. 2010). Compared to microbial, animal, and mammalian cell cultures, plants and microalgae are attractive systems for production of native and recombinant proteins because they do not propagate human pathogens and are inexpensive to cultivate (Buyel, 2015). However, lower than expected protein expression levels have been a major obstacle for the development of economical bioprocesses. In addition, the low protein accumulation levels have hindered the design of novel protein extraction and recovery methods from plant or algal biomass. The recent technology advancements such as direct gene transcription in cell organelles suited for protein accumulation, targeting proteins to subcellular locations for optimal and stable accumulation as well as transient expression have opened a new chapter in the exploration of plants and algal systems for protein production. These latter developments have solved the accumulation challenge and reignited industry interest in alternative, cost-competitive plant - and algae-derived protein products. The goal of this project is to develop bioprocessing solutions that would make for protein production from plants and microalgae economically viable.A similar bioprocess interest surge is been observed (i.e., development of effective bioprocessing methods) with native (non-recombinant) microalgal protein products due to the need to fulfill the anticipated dietary protein demand in the coming decades. The current world population of 7.3 billion has a protein consumption demand of 202 million tons (MT), which is projected to increase to 360-1250 MT by 2050 (Henchion et al., 2017; Ritala et al., 2017)..........