This module will examine the ways in which microorganisms are exploited for commercial processes that generally operate on a large scale. It describes strain recovery and improvement to large-scale cultivation as well as identifying the problems and solutions inherent in scale-up from laboratory to commercial fermentations. Examples of specific processes will then be used to illustrate the many biotechnological applications of microorganisms including production of antibiotics, biomass, single cell proteins and biopolymers. Aspects of food microbiology and brewing will also be described.
A. Acquire knowledge and understanding on the stages required for commercial production of microbial products.
B. Identify the problems with isolation, strain improvement and growth of microorganisms on a large scale.
C. Understand the specific commercial processes via studies such as antibiotic production, large-scale manufacture of enzymes, biofuels and brewing.
D. Acquire knowledge, understand and critically evaluate the practical applications of genetic engineering in human medicine, animal biotechnology and plant agriculture and ethical considerations in biotechnology.
E. Understand the production and applications of microbial proteins and biopolymers.
F. Learn how these principles were developed and applied in other areas of biology, and evaluate the methods and approaches required to solve problems in this area.
Course content will be delivered primarily via standard lectures. The handouts of the lectures and research/review articles related to the lectures will be made available to students on VLE. Animations and/or Videos will be shown for some of the topics. Review sessions will be arranged towards end of the semester and the students will have opportunities to self-assess their understanding of the course.