Plant biotechnological expert
Transgenic seeds as a feed additive for passive immunization

The expertise of Bart Van Droogenbroeck is in the plant biotechnological research. This research throughout the last twenty years has shown that plants represent an excellent alternative for the production of valuable recombinant proteins over bacterial fermentation and animal cell cultures. They can synthesize complex proteins antibodies and vaccines for veterinary applications in an efficient and correct way. In addition, plant-based production platforms offers other important advantages: production is safer thanks to the absence of human/animal pathogens in the plant material, they have a low-start up and production cost and are more flexible than contained cell cultures.
One innovative aspect that is studied in detail, relevant for the COST “Feed for health” proposal, is the use of transgenic seeds as a feed additive to realize passive immunization against important animal pathogens. Transgenic seeds, expressing pathogen-binding antibodies, provide a real alternative for replacing the EU banned antibiotics as growth promoters. This transgenic seed material can be applied as integral part of the feed, and so costly purification of the recombinant protein can be avoided. Passive immunization, a desired form of protection against gastro-intestinal diseases, thus represents a real alternative to in-feed anti-microbials. The recombinant anti-microbial proteins are harmless to animals and no chemical residues are left in the meat, thereby not compromising human health.


  • Van Droogenbroeck B., De Wilde K., Depicker A. (2008) Production of antibody fragments in Arabidopsis seeds. In: Faye L, Gomord V. (eds.), Methods in Molecular Biology: Recombinant proteins from plants, Vol. 483. Humana Press, New York, USA. Book doi: 10.1007/978-1-59745-407-0
  • Van Droogenbroeck, B., Cao, J., Stadlmann, J., Altmann, F., Hilmer, S., Robinson, DG., Van Lerberge, E., Terryn, N., Van Montagu, M., Inzé, D., Liang, M., Depicker, A., De Jaeger, G. (2007) High-level expression of functional single-chain Fv-Fc antibodies in Arabidopsis seeds: aberrant localization and underglycosylation of the recombinant proteins. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 104: 1430-1435
  • Lamblin F., Aimé, A., Hano C., Roussy I., Domon J.-M., Van Droogenbroeck B., Lainé E. (2007). The use of phosphomannose isomerase gene as alternative selectable marker for Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of flax (Linum usitatissimum). Plant Cell Reports, 26:765-772
Where am I?
Luciano Pinotti, University of MilanAshild Krogdahl, NVHIan Givens, Reading UniversityChris Knight, University of CopenhagenVincent Baeten, CRA-WDolores Pérez Marín, University of CordobaStephen Woodgate, Beacon ResearchJoop Luten, NofimaHans Dieter Hess, AgroscopeBart Van Droogenbroeck, ILVOJerzy Juskiewicz, Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research Anna Haug, UMBMindaugas Malakauskas, LVAIonelia Taranu, INCDBNARodica Criste, INCDBNAAneliya Haritova, Trakia UniversityKris Sejrsen, Department of Animal Health, Welfare and NutritionRafael Codony, University of BarcelonaFrancesc Guardiola, University of BarcelonaKatri Ling, Institute of Animal Science and Veterinary MedicinePreben Bach Holm, University AarhusDavid Arney, Institute of Animal Science and Veterinary MedicineAna Garrido Varo, University of CordobaJaroslava Ovesna, Institute of Crop ResearchKevin Shingfield, MTT Agrifood ResearchNastasia Belc, Institute of Food BioresourcesRupert Bruckmaier, University of BernJohn Wallace, Rowett Research InstituteCornelia Metges and Harald Hammon, FBNJaap Keijer, WURAila Vanhatalo, University of HelsinkiJovanka Levic, Institute of Food TechnologyDavid Kenny, Institute for Food and HealthIsabelle Oswald, INRAMilan Marounek, Institute of Animal ScienceVeerle Fievez, Ghent UniversityMarcela Speranda, Faculty of Agriculture CroatiaKostas Mountzouris, Agricultural University of AthensIoannis Politis, Agricultural University of AthensMargrit Velik, Institute of Live Stock ResearchBegona de la Roza-Delgado, SERIDAJohn O`Doherty, Institute for Food and Health
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Bart Van Droogenbroeck
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