Applied Microbiology

Applied Microbiology is a set of practices that use living cells or component cells such as enzymes to generate industrial products & processes. It is a key enabling technology to realize a bio-economy that uses biological resources as an input to industrial processes, and bio-based processes to help industries become more environmentally sustainable.

Microbial productions have occupied a significant role in various areas of fermentation industry, food and beverage industry, biotechnology research, detergent industry. Microbial productions have a pivotal responsibility in industrial biotechnology which involves the use of microorganisms and enzymes to produce biobased products in sectors like chemicals, food & feed, paper, textiles and bioenergy. Microbial products include antibiotics, enzymes, vitamins, amino acids. Antibiotics are substances derived by some bacteria or fungi that can either inhibit the growth or kill other microorganisms. Antibiotics are produced industrially by fermentation where the source microorganism is grown in containers of size 100,000–150,000 litters or more in the presence of liquid growth medium.

Scope and Importance: Microalgae as a biofactory offer a promising approach towards the production of omega-3 fatty acids such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These fatty acids provide significant health benefits and their consumption has increased as dietary supplements. Microalgal biotechnology explores the potential applications of autotrophic microalgae as aquaculture feed and in the development of biofuel crops. Microalgae can also be used as the production platforms for the development of omega- 3 fatty acids. Studies have reported that techniques like metabolic engineering and selective breeding can be applied successfully to produce large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids in microalgae.

Microbial cells, either bacteria or yeast are used as hosts to produce recombinant pharmaceuticals. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) have represented that the microbial cells represent convenient and powerful tools for recombinant protein production. Biofactory refers to any system that can produce useful amounts of biologically-active compounds such as recombinant proteins, therapeutics. Hosts such as bacteria, yeasts, mammalian and insect cells, transgenic plants and animals can be exploited for the large-scale production of diagnostic and therapeutic proteins. Molecular farming which is a keystone tool of plant biotechnology focuses on the exploitation of plants of agronomic relevance as biofactories for large-scale production of biomolecules. The whole plant or plant cell culture have been used for the production of biopharmaceuticals like cytokines, blood proteins, milk proteins, hormones, antibodies, metabolic enzymes, antigens and vaccines and many more biological molecules used in animal and human health care.

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