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Biotechnology

State that biotechnology ids the industrial use of living organisms (or parts of them) to produce food drugs or other products Explain why microorganisms are often used in biotechnological processes

Biotechnology is a field of biology that involves the use of living things in engineering, technology, medicine, etc..

What are microorganisms?


Tiny organisms that are often too small to be seen with the naked eye. They include bacteria, viruses, fungi and protoctista. They can cause terrible diseases but are enormously useful to people.
Polio viruses.

Photo: Phototake/Alamy

Bread made using yeast is attacked by mould, another type of fungus.


Photo: Ann Fullick

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v =nnSYigHofb0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRH81hfYXDY&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=He91k5wFYcM&feature=related

The growth curve


Describe and explain with the aid of diagrams, the standard growth curve of a population of microorganisms in a closed culture Describe the differences between primary and secondary metabolites

http://diverge.hunter.cuny.edu/~weigang/Images/06-14_bacteriagrowth_1.jpg

Bacteria have increased in numbers They have adjusted to the new medium Bacteria divide at the maximum rate Nutrient levels are high Population doubles during each time interval Curve becomes increasingly steep

Number of new bacterial cells = number dying Living population remains constant (Total number of bacterial cells will continue to increase)

Bacteria are adjusting to nutrient solution Necessary genes are being switched on Only a few bacteria are present initially

Living population size decreases Usually due to lack of nutrients or build up of excretory products which inhibit bacterial metabolism

Primary metabolite
Substance produced as part of normal growth Eg amino acids/protein nucleic acids etc Production matches growth in population of organism NB all organisms produce primary

Secondary metabolite

Substance produced by organism NOT part of normal growth Eg antibiotic chemicals


Normally production begins after main growth period of organism so does not match growth in population of organism NB NOT all produce secondary

Commercial applications of biotechnology


Compare and contrast the processes of continuous and batch culture Explain the importance of manipulating the growing conditions in a fermentation vessel in order to maximise the yield of product required Explain the importance of asepsis in manipulation of microorganisms

How do we culture microbes on a large scale?

Photo: SPL Maximillian Stock

Compare and contrast batch and continuous culture

Batch culture

Continuous culture

A closed system culture of microorganisms with specific nutrient types, temperature, pressure, aeration, and other environmental conditions, where only a few generations are allowed to grow before all nutrients are used up.

A culture of microorganisms in a liquid medium which is maintained under constant conditions with a constant nutrient supply so that it can grow steadily for an extended period of time.

Asepsis
The prevention of contact with microorganisms

In microbiology
Aseptic technique is the name given to the procedures used by microbiologists to prevent microbial contamination of themselves, which may result in infection, contamination of the environment they are working in (e.g. fomites), and contamination of the specimen they are working on, which is especially important when a pure culture is desired. It is used whenever specimens are to be transferred between media, for example, when subculturing. Such a procedure, using a flame sterilization method, might occur as follows:

How do you culture bacteria in the lab?


There are a number of steps you must follow to culture bacteria:

1 Sterilise the inoculating loop, which is used to transfer microorganisms to the agar, by heating it to red hot in the flame of a Bunsen and then leaving it to cool.

2 Dip the sterilised loop in a suspension of bacteria you want to grow. 3 Use it to make zig-zag streaks across the surface of the agar. 4 Replace the lid on the Petri dish as quickly as possible to avoid contamination.

5 Secure the lid of the Petri dish with short pieces of tape to prevent microorganisms from the air contaminating the culture or microbes from the culture escaping. Do not seal all the way around the edge. 6 Once the plates are closed, incubate the culture at no more than 25C for several days. 7 Then observe the number and type of colonies that appear.

Safety issues
Always take care with microorganisms. Avoid contamination of plates as much as possible. Mutation can produce dangerous pathogens. Never culture plates at more than 25C this reduces the chance of human pathogens growing. Keep Petri dishes closed once microorganisms have grown.