Industrial microbiology is the branch of biotechnology which makes use of the microbes for producing products of different kinds. These products are of great economic importance. All the processes which take place with the help of microorganisms are called as fermentation processes. There are a lot of things common in the terms industrial microbiology and fermentation. The products which are made through fermentation process using microbes are the intracellular or extra cellular enzymes, microbial cells and microbial biomass or the chemicals which are produced by microbes. Industrial microbiology is useful in many ways for example it uses microorganisms to degenerate contaminants of industry and other toxins into energy sources. It is a fact that 70% of the oxygen is provided by the microorganisms to the animals and humans. Oil spills make use of the bacteria to clean the oil and other activities like inoculants which are also used as biofertilizers and help in the production of biocontrol agents.
Role of Industrial Microbiology in Biotechnology:-
All the foods like yogurt, cream, cheese, coffee, chocolates and many other products are produced by industrial microbiology using the method of fermentation. Food industry is making use of bacteria for example probiotics. Bacteria like probiotics are playing an important role in the food industry and are responsible for the synthesis of many useful products.
If the name virus comes in the mind, it is always thought that they are responsible for causing disease like common cold. But in biotechnology, viruses can also be useful because different techniques of biotechnology like gene expression and delivery vectors make use of viruses in both animal and insect cells for different purposes.
Medicine and Healthcare:-
Microorganisms are also useful in the medical fields as they help in curing the disease of cancer. Clostridia are microorganisms which are used to target cancer cells when patient undergoes any therapy. They are responsible for inserting therapeutic proteins in the cancer cells of the patient which replace the damaged proteins and repair the cell function in a healthy way. Other microorganisms like bacteria are responsible for the synthesis of insulin for diabetic patients and they also help in developing growth hormones and many antibodies are also synthesized through microorganisms. It is a fact that there are very few microorganisms which are harmful for the environment or for the human health.
Bioremediation is another process of cleaning the environment with the help of microorganisms. Microorganisms help in degrading the toxins and wastes released from industries and help clean the water of the river and oil spills at the petroleum sites. There are different types of bioremediation like biostimulation, bioaugmentation etc which are used to clean the pollutants from the environment and waste materials from the rivers and seas. These microorganisms reside in the soil and make it fertile. As a result the growth of the plants improves and they are more nutritious.
Treatment of Wastewater:-
Industrial microbiology makes use of the biotechnological processes to treat the industrial and municipal wastewater. Microbes recycle nitrogen and methane gas through the method of fermentation from the wastewater.
Biopolymers include polyesters, polysaccharides and polyamides. These products are synthesized with the help of microorganisms. Genetic engineering has made it possible to improve biotechnological processes of biopolymers production and has made use of these products in different areas. Other processes also take place with the help of microorganisms like drug delivery, cell and tissue engineering.
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