Continuous Culture for Production

  • Alan T. Bull
Part of the Basic Life Sciences book series


First I would like to make a personal comment on the general development of biotechnology from the viewpoint of a microbial physiologist. The study of microbial physiology has suffered considerable neglect in recent years and this has implications for the overall pace and direction of biotechnological innovation. In contrast, the effort to understand and manipulate the genomes of microorganisms has attracted massive investment. One of the most remarkable features of microorganisms is their capacity for phenotypic variation, variation which can be manifest in metabolic, chemical, and structural terms. Such variation is a double-edged sword as far as the fermentation microbiologist is concerned: it provides an abundant scope for the development of novel processes but it may pose problems during process scale-up if the fermentation conditions are not sufficiently well reproduced. If one is considering the development of a continuous fermentation process, the difficulties - especially where genetically engineered strains are to be used - may be compounded; the strong selection pressures characteristic of continuous cultures can lead to the competitive displacement of the production strain. The dilemma has been put clearly by Tempest [40] as a basic incompatability between organism improvement by genetic manipulation and process improvement by utilizing continuous culture techniques.


Specific Growth Rate Continuous Culture Continuous Fermentation Alpha Amylase Microbial Physiology 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alan T. Bull
    • 1
  1. 1.Biological LaboratoryUniversity of Kent at CanterburyCanterbury, KentEngland

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