In summary, we believe that the articles in this issue give timely and inspiring insights into advances, challenges and opportunities in some of the key aspects of plant biotechnology. Plants are globally cultivated at extremely low cost, harvested on the giga-tonne scale, and routinely used to produce the widest range of products from fibers, wood, oils, sugar, fine chemicals, drugs to food. They represent an enormous and largely untapped source of enzymes and biochemicals for food, health, and industrial biotechnology applications. They can also be used as workhorses for the heterologous production of vaccines and other high value products. The continued development of ever more sophisticated tools and technologies for investigating, engineering, and improving plants coupled with the array of potential applications of plant biotechnology makes this a very exciting field to be in.