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.
At the end of this module students will acquire knowledge and critical understanding of the principles of:
A. The stages required for commercial production of microbial products.
B. The problems inherent in isolation, strain improvement and growth of microorganisms on a large scale.
C. Specific commercial processes via studies of such processes as antibiotic production, large-scale manufacture of enzymes and brewing.
D. They will also learn how these principles have been developed and applied to other areas of biology, and know the methods and appropriate approaches required to solve problems in this area.
Course content will be delivered primarily via standard lectures that will be accompanied by suitable lecture handouts (also available on ICE). Students will also be guided to sections of specific textbooks and if reading of specific reviews or source literature is required, then copies of these will be made available to the students.