History of Plant Biotechnology Development

  • Ivelin Pantchev
  • Goritsa Rakleova
  • Atanas Pavlov
  • Atanas AtanassovEmail author
Reference work entry
Part of the Reference Series in Phytochemistry book series (RSP)


It is difficult to write a review on the history of plant biotechnology, especially after the excellent works of Vasil (Plant Cell Rep 27(9):1423–1440, 2008) Thorpe (Mol Biotechnol 37:169–180, 2007), and Sussex (Plant Cell 20(5):1189–1198, 2008). It is even more difficult to overview the current state of this fast-developing field. Nevertheless, in this review we will make an attempt not only to make a narrative of main stages but also to show the links between plant biotechnology and latest progress in biological science.

Plant biotechnology has its roots deep in human civilization but was established just a century ago. Starting outside the science mainstream of the time period, classical plant biotechnology slowly but steadily grew into a recognized discipline. The explosive growth of biology research at the end of the twentieth century brought plant biotechnology to the fast-track line. The field grew very rapidly and currently turned into a key tool for fundamental research and practical uses. Currently plant biotechnology has been essentially grown, and new disciplines as omics technologies as genome editing have arisen which further intensify both fundamental and practical studies in biology and make a bridge with other scientific areas as informatics, nanotechnology, and so-called digital and intelligent science. As such modern biotechnology speeds up the development of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Schwab, The fourth industrial revolution. World Economic Forum. ISBN 1944835008, 2016).


Plant tissue culture Transgenic technologies Omics Gene editing Epigenetics Marker-assisted breeding Protoplast Plant transformation Cell factories Bioreactors 



Two-dimensional electrophoresis


Toxic protein from Bacillus thuringiensis


Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research


Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats/CRISPR-associated protein


Centro Internacional de Mejoramiento de Maíz y Trigo (International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre)


Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry


Genetic modification


Genetically modified organism


Genome-wide association studies


International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology


International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics


Intellectual property rights


International Rice Research Institute


Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry


Near-infrared spectroscopy


Nuclear magnetic resonance


RNA interference


Single-nucleotide polymorphism


Transferred DNA from Ti-plasmid (or binary vector) into plant cell


Tumor-inducing plasmid of Agrobacterium tumefaciens


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ivelin Pantchev
    • 1
    • 3
  • Goritsa Rakleova
    • 1
  • Atanas Pavlov
    • 2
    • 4
  • Atanas Atanassov
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Joint Genomic Center Ltd.SofiaBulgaria
  2. 2.University of Food TechnologiesPlovdivBulgaria
  3. 3.Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of BiologySofia UniversitySofiaBulgaria
  4. 4.The Stephan Angeloff Institute of Microbiology, Bulgarian Academy of SciencesSofiaBulgaria

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