Plant cells have been demonstrated to be an attractive heterologous expression host (using whole plants and in vitro plant cell cultures) for foreign protein production in the past 20years. In recent years in vitro liquid cultures of plant cells in a fully contained bioreactor have become promising alternatives to traditional microbial fermentation and mammalian cell cultures as a foreign protein expression platform, due to the unique features of plant cells as a production host including product safety, cost-effective biomanufacturing, and the capacity for complex protein post-translational modifications. Heterologous proteins such as therapeutics, antibodies, vaccines and enzymes for pharmaceutical and industrial applications have been successfully expressed in plant cell culture-based bioreactor systems including suspended dedifferentiated plant cells, moss, and hairy roots, etc. In this article, the current status and emerging trends of plant cell culture for in vitro production of foreign proteins will be discussed with emphasis on the technological progress that has been made in plant cell culture bioreactor systems. Copyright Â© 2011. Published by Elsevier Inc.