Synthetic biology certainly includes plants, but the field of plant synthetic biology is less developed compared to model heterotrophs or mammalian applications. But plants are important, too important in fact. A recent PNAS paper estimates the amount of global biomass and the contributions of different taxa, and plants are by far the largest contributors to global biomass and dominate terrestrial ecosystems. The last few years’ developments have promised to make plant synthetic biology more approachable, and the interest of plant researchers in synthetic biology is growing, as reflected by the plant synthetic biology conferences and special issues in plant journals. In this post [PLOS Synbio] former editor Steven Burgess and Iulia Gherman, share their thoughts on the present and future of plant synthetic biology.
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