OCR F215 Biotechnology

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F215 Module 2: Biotechnology and Gene Technologies
5.2.2 Biotechnology
(a) state that biotechnology is the industrial use of living organisms (or parts of living organisms) to
produce food, drugs or other products
Biotechnology ­ the industrial use of living organisms (or parts of living organisms) to produce food, drugs or
other products.
(b) explain why microorganisms are often used in biotechnological processes
Many biotechnological processes make use of microorganisms (bacteria and fungi) as they have many advantages:
Rapid growth in favourable conditions .
Proteins and chemicals produced can be harvested.
Can be genetically engineered to produce specific products.
Grows well at low temperatures ­ lower than those chemical processes.
Can be grown anywhere ­ not climatedependent .
Purer products than those produced in chemical processes.
Can be grown using nutrient materials that are useless or toxic to humans.
Bacteria Fungi
Food Cheese and yogurt making Lactobacilius Mycoprotein (Quorn) Fusarium produces fungal
grows in milk changing the flavour and texture. mycelium, which is seperated and processed as
It prevents the growth of other bacteria, food.
preventing spoilage. Soya sauce ­ roasted soya beans are fermented
with yeast or fungi such as Aspergillus .
Drugs Insulin Escherichia. coli is genetically modified Penicillin ­ Penicillium grown in culture produces
to carry insulin. It secrets insulin as it grows. penicillin as a byproduct of its metabolism.
Enzymes Biogas guel production methanogenic Pectinase (fruit juice extraction) ­ A. niger grown
and other bacteria, grown on concentrated sewage, in certain conditions produces and secretes
chemicals respire anaerobically and generate gases that pectinase.
can be used as fuel. Calcium citrate (detergents) ­ A. niger produces
citric acid as a byproduct of its normal
Waste Water waste treatment ­ a variety of bacteria and fungi use organic waste in the water as nutrients
products and make the waste harmless, e.g. Fusarium grown on corn steep liquor, a waste product of the corn
milling industry.
(c) describe, with the aid of diagrams, and explain the standard growth curve of a microorganism in a
closed culture
A c ulture is a growth of microorganisms. A pure culture contains one microorganism and a mixed culture
contains multiple species .

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F215 Module 2: Biotechnology and Gene Technologies
(d) describe how enzymes can be immobilised
Immobilisation of enzymes ­ where enzymes are held, separated from the reaction mixture. Substrate
molecules can bind to the enzyme molecules and the products formed go back into the reaction mixture leaving
the enzyme molecules in place.
Methods for immobilising enzymes depend on ease of preparation, cost, relative importance of enzyme `leakage'
and efficiency of the particular enzyme that is immobilised.…read more

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F215 Module 2: Biotechnology and Gene Technologies
o Nutrients are added to the fermentation tank.
o Products are removed from the fermentation tank at regular intervals/continuously.
o For example, insulin.
Batch Continuous
Advantages Easy to set up and maintain. Faster growth rate as nutrients are
If contamination occurs, only one batch is continuously added.
lost. More efficient ­ fermenter operates
Very useful for processes involving the continuously.
production of secondary metabolites . Very useful for processes involving the
production of primary metabolites .…read more

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F215 Module 2: Biotechnology and Gene Technologies
Carried out in a fume cupboard or a laminar flow Sterilising all nutrient media before adding to the
cabinet where air circulation carries any airborne fermenter prevents introduction of
contaminants away. contaminants .
Cultures of microorganisms are kept closed where Fine filters on inlet and outlet pipes avoid
possible and away from the bench space when microorganisms entering and leaving the
open and in use. fermentation vessel.…read more


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