Plant-based protein expression

Some specimens of Nicotiana benthamiana in plastic pots.

Plant-based expression systems are often over- looked, despite their unrivalled production speed, high scalability, low cost and eukaroytic protein modification – acib can help you to tap that potential with our deep understanding and many years of experience!


The plant Nicotiana benthamiana (a close relative to the tobacco plant) is an efficient eukaryotic production-platform for a variety of recombinant proteins. The system is especially favoured for proteins that are difficult to express in bacterial hosts, as they provide intrinsic eukaryotic features. The recently optimized transient expression approach offers significant advantages in production speed (product can be harvested 4-6 days post DNA construct delivery), flexibility and expression level.


acib has longstanding experience with N. benthamiana-based recombi‐ nant protein production yielding up to 50% of total soluble protein. The system works exceedingly well for antibodies (e.g. 50-250 mg purified IgG per kg of plant material) and has been applied in emergency use, e.g. during the Ebola and SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks. The approach is suitable in producing highly complex proteins, such as oligomeric IgM and IgAs. We have the know-how and potential partners for up-scaling of protein expression. In addition, acib can offer a versatile glycol-engineered N. benthamiana platform for tailor-made glycoprotein production.

Project Offer

Under protection of a CDA/NDA we provide you with strategies for expression of your gene(s) of choice in N. benthamiana. We can provide a concept for expression (1-2 month) or the wet-lab proof-of-concept (3- 6 months) or the full optimization until your target value has been rea‐ ched. Any IP developed in such projects would fully belong to the inves‐ tor/industrial partner.


Prof. Dr. Herta Steinkellner, Prof. Dr. Richard Strasser

Available for:

Investments, Joint Research Projects, Contract Research

Development status:

Technology Readiness Level 1-5


Will be generated for our industrial partner / investor


Nicotiana benthamiana, Plant based expression, Transient expression, Glyco-Engineering, Antibodies

Chandres, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Dr. Martin U. Trinker
Director Business Development & Fundraising
Krenngasse 37
8010 Graz
+43 316 873 9316