B1  Microbiology: Organisms in Industry

big ninja

Essential Idea:

Microorganisms can be used and modified

to perform industrial processes


  • Microorganisms are metabolically diverse
  • Microorganisms are used in industry because they are small and have a fast growth rate
  • Pathway engineering optimises genetic and regulatory processes within microorganisms
  • Pathway engineering is used industrially to produce metabolites of interest
  • Fermenters allow large-scale production of metabolites by microorganisms
  • Fermentation is carried out by batch or continuous culture
  • Microorganisms in fermenters become limited by their own waste products
  • Probes are used to monitor conditions within fermenters
  • Conditions are maintained at optimal levels for the growth of the microorganism being cultured


  • Deep-tank batch fermentation in the mass production of penicillin
  • Production of citric acid in a continuous fermenter by Aspergillus niger and its use as a preservative and flavouring
  • Biogas is produced by bacteria and archaeans from organic matter in fermenters


  • Gram staining of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria
  • Experiments showing zone of inhibition of bacterial growth by bactericides in sterile bacterial cultures
  • Production of biogas in a small-scale fermenter