Chloroplasts are vital photosynthetic organelles in plant cells that carry out several important
cellular functions including synthesis of amino acids, fatty acids, and lipids and metabolism
of nitrogen, starch, and Sulphur to sustain the homeostasis in plants. These organelles have got their
own genome, and related genetic machinery to synthesize required proteins for various plant functions.
Genetic manipulations of the chloroplast genome for different biotech applications has been
of great interest due to desired features including the availability of operonal mode of gene expression,
high copy number, and maternal mode of inheritance (in the most field crops). Their capacity
to often express transgenes at high levels make it a cost-effective platform for the production of
foreign proteins, particularly high-value targets of industrial importance, at large scale. This article
reviews briefly the research work carried out to produce cellulolytic enzymes in higher plant chloroplasts.
The challenges and future opportunities for the same are also discussed.
Keywords: Biofuels, cellulases, chloroplast transformation, biopharming, organelles, homeostasis.
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