Biotechnology: Screening Procedures, Fermentation and the Production of Penicillin, Industrial Enzymes

Edited by Jamie (ScienceAid Editor), Jen Moreau, SmartyPants, Sharingknowledge

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Screening Procedures

Micro-organisms are used in industry for a large number of processes. This is because they have simpler nutrient requirements, fast growth rates and can be genetically manipulated. Before using micro-organisms, they must be screened to find the most suitable for a particular process.

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For example, fungi can be grown with several bacteria to see if they have any antibiotic effect. Similarly, bacteria can be screened for protease production. Agar plates are treated with casein - a protein that makes it cloudy. If the bacteria produce protease, a clear area where the casein has been hydrolysed will form; the larger this area is, the higher the concentration of protease that has been produced.

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Screening bacteria for protease production.

Fermentation and the Production of Penicillin

For detail on the fermenter see fermentation.

There are two types of culturing techniques used to grow large amounts of micro-organism. Batch culturing has all substrates added together are the start and the products harvested at the end. The cells are in the exponential growth for a smaller period and the amount of product is limited by the initial amount of substrate. This means batch culturing is less productive but contamination is less likely. Sometimes it is necessary to use batch culturing: bacteria or fungus will not produce antibiotic in the exponential phase because there isn't much competition.

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Another process is continuous culture where new substrate is continually added and product continually harvested. In this method, the cells are maintained in the exponential growth phase. It makes a lot of product and once you have got the conditions right, is automatic. However, the fermenter can only be used for one product and contamination is more likely.

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batch and continuous culturing techniques

The products of fermentation are not usually purely what you want (notable exceptions are in food production: beer, yogurt etc). So downstream processing is carried out to extract purified product, as is the case in Penicillin production (stages 3, 4 & 5 in the diagram below).

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The antibiotic Penicillin is obtained from a strain of the mould Penicillium chrysogenum. It is fermented in a batch culture as if the P. chrysogenum is kept in the exponential phase it uses the energy to grow rather than make Penicillin.

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The main stages of Penicillin production are:

the main stages in penicillin production

Industrial Enzymes

Micro-organisms can be used to produce enzymes that are useful in certain industrial applications. A more efficient method of using them is to isolate an enzyme and use it by itself. This is better because higher concentrations of an enzyme can be obtained and only one reaction is taking place - whereas using whole micro-organisms would have numerous enzyme reactions and more products to process.

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A further problem is encountered in that enzymes are expensive to produce. This is solved by reusing the enzyme, this is made possible by immobilizing the enzymes, this way they do not contaminate the end products are can be reused.

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Some methods of immobilizing an enzyme are:

Method How it works Illustration
Bonding with a cross-linking agent. Enzymes are linked to each other by chemical bonds. They may all be joined by amino acids for instance.
cross-linking enzymes
Entrapment inside a gel. Enzyme is trapped in an inert 'matrix' such as alginate or collagen, and cannot be washed out. Substrates and products, though, may diffuse in and out of the matrix. This type of enzyme takes the form of small beads.
entrapment of enzymes inside a gel
Binding to an adsorbing agent. A support matrix (glass beads or carbon) has enzymes attached to it by weak forces (a bit like magnetism). The adsorption may alter the shape of the enzyme, though, and the force might be too weak to hold the enzymes in place very strongly.
adsorbing an enzyme

Questions and Answers

Production of penicillin downstream processes, which downstream process is not used in production?

Which downstream process is not used in producing penicillin .and why can't the process be applied?explain in detail why that particular process can't be applied. It explains what process is used, is not used.reasons are not given for each process.

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ScienceAid QnA. This section is not written yet. Want to join in? Click EDIT to write this answer.

Discuss how microorganisms are screened for use in the food production process?

Please help me to answer this question and explain well in detail

ScienceAid QnA. This section is not written yet. Want to join in? Click EDIT to write this answer.

Which fermentor used penicillin production and what does are the production strain details?

Please give the full details about production strain for penicillin production in pdf format. I prefer a seminar so I have full details about penicillin production

During the World War II in 19170's, penicillin has been discovered and leads to the development of antibiotics and provided great impact in the world of biotechnology. The production of penicillin is done through the process of fermentation.

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This method is done aseptically in stainless steel tank reactors that have a capacity of 30-100 thousand gallons. This process involves several growth phases. It usually takes 2-3 seed phase and then followed by the production phase that takes 120 to 200 hours.

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Glucose, sucrose and other forms of crude sugars which are examples of carbon have been used in this process. 65% of this carbon is being used for cellular maintenance, 25% is used for the growth and 10% for the penicillin production. This sugar can also useful in regulating the pH value of the penicillin during its the production phase.

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To remove an amount of fermentor contents and replace it with a fresh sterile medium, mini harvest protocol is being obtained. This process can be repeated to enhance the penicillin yield per fermentor without reducing its yield. Then penicillin is extracted into a medium and recovered at the end of the fermentation process.

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Penicillin production strains:

During the Second World War, the traditional process of penicillin production provides one milligram per cubic decimeter but later production with the aid of different species like penicillium chrysogenum and the development of extraction procedures the production yields to 50 grams per cubic decimeter.

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The production of penicillin can still be improved through the improvement of the composition medium by removing the Penicillium Chrysogenum that grows better in the large deep fermentation tank and by continuous improvement of culture technique for the cultivation of molds in a large volume of liquid medium that must be kept with sterile air into it.

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One of most significant thing in high-yielding Penicillin chrysogenum strain is the amplification of the penicillin biosynthetic gene cluster and molecular strategies involving an increase in biosynthesis gene has also been developed.

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The need for the penicillin for therapeutic purposes is still at its peak however the laboratories in the United Kingdom were not able to provide enough resources to improve the production industries of penicillin during the World War II.In 1941, Howard Florey and Norman Heatley go to the US to work with the scientist in U.S Department of Agriculture's Northern Regional Research Laboratory (NRRL) in Peoria IL and with some British and American scientist for the improvement of the production of penicillin.They were able to identify the strains of the Penicillium chrysogenum that produce the highest levels of penicillin that is usually obtained from a moldy cantaloupe in a Peoria farmer's market. They used x-rays and ultraviolet light to create higher penicillin-producing mutants. Through their study, they were able to reveal the improvement of growing penicillin through submerging the culture media rather than on a plate surface because of the changes in the nutrient base from sucrose to lactose. This breakthrough was able to save thousands of lives during the World War II.

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Referencing this Article

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APA (American Psychological Association)
Biotechnology: Screening Procedures, Fermentation and the Production of Penicillin, Industrial Enzymes. (2017). In ScienceAid. Retrieved Apr 27, 2017, from https://scienceaid.net/biology/micro/biotechnology.html

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MLA (Modern Language Association) "Biotechnology: Screening Procedures, Fermentation and the Production of Penicillin, Industrial Enzymes." ScienceAid, scienceaid.net/biology/micro/biotechnology.html Accessed 27 Apr 2017.

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Chicago / Turabian ScienceAid.net. "Biotechnology: Screening Procedures, Fermentation and the Production of Penicillin, Industrial Enzymes." Accessed Apr 27, 2017. https://scienceaid.net/biology/micro/biotechnology.html.

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Categories : Micro

Recent edits by: SmartyPants, Jen Moreau, Jamie (ScienceAid Editor)

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