Biotechnology (5.2.2)

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What is the definition of biotechnology?
The industrial use of living organisms (or extracts from living organisms) to produce food, drugs and other useful products for humans.
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What are the 4 main areas that biotechnology is used in?
Healthcare & medical processes. Agriculture. Industry. Food science.
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Give an example of biotechnology in healthcare.
The production of drugs by microbes.
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Give an example of biotechnology in agriculture.
Production of genetically modified crops.
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Give an example of biotechnology in industry.
Modifying organisms to produce useful enzymes.
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Give an example of biotechnology in food science.
Development of food with improved nutrition.
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Give 3 features of microbes which make them useful.
They grow & replicate quickly- lots of product can be obtained in a short time. Can be grown on very simple nutrients, often waste products from industry. Can easily be genetically engineered to produce very specific products.
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Give 3 more features of microbes which make them useful.
Often produce products that are secreted into surroundings- easy to harvest. No ethical concerns with using microbes. Most reproduce asexually, so are all clones and all produce the same useful product.
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What does a closed culture mean?
The growth of microbes in an environment where all of the conditions are fixed and contained. No new materials are added and no waste products are removed.
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What are the four stages in a standard growth curve?
Lag phase. Log phase. Stationary phase. Decline phase.
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What happens in the lag phase?
Organisms are adjusting to surrounding conditions. Cells are active but not reproducing so population remains fairly constant.
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What happens in the log phase?
Population size doubles each generation, as every individual has enough space and nutrients to reproduce.
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What happens in the stationary phase?
Nutrient levels decrease and waste products like carbon dioxide build up. Individual organisms die at the same rate at which new individuals are being produced.
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What happens in the decline phase?
Nutrient exhaustion and increased levels of toxic waste products lead to the death rate increasing above the reproduction rate.
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What is an industrial fermenter?
A huge tank that can hold tens of thousands of litres. Inside, the growing conditions are manipulated and controlled to ensure the best possible yield.
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What do microbes in fermenters produce?
New cells & cellular components. Hormones and enzymes. Waste products.
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What are primary metabolites?
Substances produced by an organism as part of its normal growth. All microbes produce these. Their production matches the growth of the population of the organism. Examples include amino acids, enzymes, and sometimes ethanol and lactic acid.
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What are secondary metabolites?
Substances produced by an organism which are not part of its normal growth. Only a small number of microbes produce these. The production does not match the growth of the population as a whole. An example is the production of antibiotics.
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What conditions need to be monitored in a fermenter?
Temperature. pH. Oxygen levels- most microbes used are aerobic, so constant O2 supply needed, prevents anaerobic respiration. Nutrients- all microbes need a source of energy, nitrogen to make a.a and proteins, & essential vitamins and minerals.
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Why does temperature need to be monitored?
Microbial enzymes will have an optimum temperature at which they work best. Too low means less k.e for ES substrates to form. Too high, enzymes denature.
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Why does pH need to be monitored?
Enzymes work best at optimum pH. Deviations from this can alter charges and bonds at active site- denaturing.
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What are the two different ways that industrial scale fermenters can operate?
Continuous culture & batch culture.
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What is a continuous culture?
Nutrients are added to the fermentation tank and products are removed at regular intervals or continuously. This promotes the production of primary metabolites. Insulin is made this way from the bacterium E.coli.
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What is a batch culture?
Microbe starter culture mixed with specific quantity of nutrient solution & allowed to grow for fixed period with no further nutrients added. At end of the period, products are removed & purified. Shortage of nutrients promotes secondary metabolites.
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Give three advantages of using a batch culture.
Easy to set up and maintain. If contamination occurs, only one batch lost. Useful for processes involving the production of secondary metabolites.
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Give three advantages of using a continuous culture.
Growth rate is higher, as nutrients are constantly added. Useful for processes involving the production of primary metabolites. More efficient- fermenter operates continuously.
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What problems could contaminants cause?
Compete with cultured microbes for nutrients & space. Reduce the yield of useful products made. Could produce products that spoil intended product. May produce toxic substances.
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What does aseptic technique refer to?
Any measure taken at any point in a biotechnological process to ensure that unwanted microbes don't contaminate the culture being grown or the product being made.
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Name two small scale aseptic techniques.
Work can be carried out in fume cupboard where air circulation carries any contaminants away from the bench space. All apparatus for carrying/moving organisms sterilised before use- maybe by heating in flame.
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Name two large scale aseptic techniques.
Fermenter surfaces made of polished stainless steel to prevent microbes and medium sticking to surfaces. Washing, disinfecting & steam-cleaning fermenter when not in use to remove excess nutrient medium & kill microbes.
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How do bacteria help in cheese and yoghurt making?
Lactobacillus growth in milk changes the flavour and texture of milk to generate a different food. These bacteria prevent the growth of other bacteria that would cause spoilage, so the food is preserved.
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How do fungi help with the production of enzymes?
The fungus A.niger grown in certain conditions produces and secretes pectinase enzyme. Pectinase is used in fruit juice extraction.
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How do bacteria and fungi help in waste water treatment?
A variety of bacteria and fungi use organic waste in the water as nutrients and make the waste harmful, such as Fusarium grown on corn steep liquor- a waste product of the corn milling industry.
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Card 2

Front

What are the 4 main areas that biotechnology is used in?

Back

Healthcare & medical processes. Agriculture. Industry. Food science.

Card 3

Front

Give an example of biotechnology in healthcare.

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

Give an example of biotechnology in agriculture.

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

Give an example of biotechnology in industry.

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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