A subfield of biotechnology known as industrial microbiology uses microbial sciences to manufacture industrial goods in large quantities, frequently utilizing microbial cell factories. Multiple copies of a certain gene are incorporated via plasmids and/or vectors to increase the production of enzymes, which in turn increases product yield. There are several uses for manipulating organisms in the real world, including the manufacture of antibiotics, vitamins, enzymes, amino acids, solvents, alcohol, and everyday items.
Microorganisms are used in a variety of ways and play a significant role in the sector. In medicine, microorganisms are employed to make antibiotics that are used to treat infections. The food business can potentially benefit from the usage of microbes. Some of the mass-produced goods that people consume are made very well by microbes. Microorganisms are also used in the chemical sector to make organic solvents and amino acids. Instead of utilizing harmful chemicals and/or inoculants to promote plant growth, microbes can also be employed in agriculture as a biopesticide.
Medical Application for Industrial Microbiology
The development of novel pharmaceuticals manufactured in a particular organism for medical uses is industrial microbiology’s medical application. Antibiotic production is essential for the treatment of numerous bacterial illnesses. The technique of fermentation is used to create some naturally occurring antibiotics and their precursors. In large quantities, vitamins are also created through biotransformation or fermentation. Riboflavin, for instance, is created in both methods. Riboflavin is primarily produced through biotransformation, and glucose catalyzes this reaction’s carbon source.
A few microorganism strains have been modified to boost the output of riboflavin they produce. Ashbya gossypii is the most typical organism employed for this process. Another typical approach to manufacturing riboflavin is fermentation. Eremothecium ashbyii is the most popular organism utilized to produce riboflavin through fermentation. Once riboflavin is created, it needs to be extracted from the broth. To do this, the cells are heated for a predetermined period before being filtered out of the solution. Later, riboflavin is purified and made available as the finished product.
Steroid medications can be made through microbial biotransformation. Steroids can be used orally or intravenously. An important part of controlling arthritis is the use of steroids. The anti-inflammatory medication cortisone treats several skin conditions in addition to arthritis. Using the Corynebacterium species, testosterone, another steroid, was created from dehydroepiandrosterone.
Food Industry Application for Industrial Microbiology
The process of fermentation involves the transformation of sugar into gases, alcohols, or acids. Anaerobic fermentation occurs when no oxygen is present, which allows microorganisms to undergo fermentation without dying. Numerous goods are frequently produced in large quantities using yeasts and bacteria. Alcohol for consumption is a substance made by bacteria and yeast. Ethanol, a term used to describe alcoholic beverages fit for human consumption, serves as fuel for vehicles. Natural sugars like glucose are used to make alcohol. In this reaction, carbon dioxide is created as a byproduct that can be utilized to bake bread and to carbonate beverages. Alcoholic drinks like wine and beer are fermented by microbes when there isn’t any oxygen available.
The yeast begins to die in this process once there is an adequate amount of alcohol and carbon dioxide in the media because the environment becomes poisonous to them. The quantity of alcohol that different yeast and bacterial strains can withstand in their environment before becoming toxic allows one to produce varying alcohol levels in beer and wine by just choosing a different microbial strain. Most yeast strains can withstand between 10 and 15 percent alcohol, while others can withstand up to 21 percent.
The pasteurization of milk, during which undesirable bacteria are diminished or removed, is the first step in the manufacture of yogurt. Once the milk has been pasteurized, it is ready to be processed to remove the fat and liquid, leaving primarily solid material behind. You can accomplish this by adding concentrated milk or drying the milk so that the liquid evaporates. Since the nutrients are more concentrated when the milk has a higher solid content, the nutritional value likewise rises. The milk is now prepared for fermentation, which involves bacterial inoculation in sanitary stainless steel containers and careful monitoring of lactic acid generation, temperature, and pH.
Agriculture Application for Industrial Microbiology
The necessity for various pesticides and fertilizers has led to an ongoing rise in the demand for agricultural products. The overuse of chemical fertilizers and pesticides has long-term repercussions. The soil becomes unusable for growing crops because of the overuse of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Biopesticides, biofertilizers, and organic farming can help in this regard.
A pesticide made from a living thing or naturally occurring compounds is called a biopesticide. The production of biochemical insecticides from naturally occurring materials is another option for non-toxic pest population control. Garlic and pepper-based insecticides are an illustration of a biochemical pesticide; they function by driving insects away from the target area. The use of microbial insecticides, typically a virus, bacterium, or fungus, allows for more targeted pest population control. Bacillus thuringiensis, usually known as Bt, is the microbe that is most frequently employed for the development of microbial bio-pesticides. The endotoxin produced by this spore-forming bacterium causes the insect or pest to stop feeding on the crop or plant by destroying the digestive system’s lining.
Chemical Application for Industrial Microbiology
Microbes can also be used in the synthesis of organic solvents and amino acids. Today, the feed, food, and pharmaceutical industries primarily use the synthesis of non-essential amino acids like L-glutamic acid and essential amino acids like L-methionine, L-lysine, and L-tryptophan. These amino acids are produced as a result of fermentation and Corynebacterium glutamicum. L-lysine and L-glutamic acid can both be produced in significant amounts by C.glutamicum thanks to genetic engineering.
Due to its application in the manufacturing of Monosodium glutamate (MSG), a food flavoring ingredient, L-glutamic acid was in great demand. L-glutamic acid was produced utilizing a submerged fermentation process with C.glutamicum inoculation in 2012, with a total output of 2.2 million tons. Diaminopimelic acid (DAP), which L-Lysine was initially made from by E. coli, was later replaced by C. glutamicum for the manufacture of L-Glutamic acid.
Later modifications were made to this organism and other autotrophs to produce other amino acids such as lysine, aspartate, methionine, isoleucine, and threonine. Pigs and chickens are fed L-lysine, which is also used to cure vitamin deficiencies, boost patients’ energy levels, and occasionally treat viral infections. Even though the production of L-tryptophan is not as high as that of the other amino acids, it is nevertheless generated for pharmaceutical uses since it may be transformed and utilized to make neurotransmitters. L-tryptophan is produced through fermentation and by Corynebacterium and E. coli.
One of the first things made using bacteria was the fermentation of organic solvents like acetone, butanol, and isopropanol because living systems make it simple to acquire the required chirality of the products. A variety of Clostridia bacterial species are used in solvent fermentation. Initially, solvent fermentation did not produce as much as it does now. The actual yield of the product was minimal, and a large number of bacteria were needed to produce it. Scientists were able to genetically modify these strains to produce a greater yield for these solvents thanks to later technical developments.
Since these bacteria have a range of products in which they can survive before the environment becomes toxic, these Clostridial strains were modified to have extra gene copies of enzymes required for solvent production as well as being more tolerant to higher concentrations of the solvent being produced. Another strategy to raise the productivity of these bacteria was to produce new strains that can utilize different substrates.