Biotechnology: Principles and processes


What is biotechnology?

  • Biotechnology refers to the technology using biology, which has applications in agriculture, food processing industry, medicine diagnostics, bioremediation, waste treatment, and energy production.
  • The European Federation of Biotechnology (EFB) defines biotechnology as “the integration of natural science and organisms, cells, parts thereof and molecular analogues for products and services”.

Basis of Modern Biotechnology

  • Genetic engineering − Introduction of foreign genetic material (DNA/RNA) into the host’s genome and altering its phenotype
  • Aseptic techniques − Involves maintenance of contamination-free ambience in chemical engineering processes for manufacture of products such as antibiotics, vaccines, etc.This is done so as to enable the growth of only desired microbes responsible for a bioprocess.

Genetic Engineering

  • Asexual reproduction preserves the genetic information while sexual reproduction preserves variations.
  • Plant and animal hybridization procedures often result in introduction of undesirable genes along with desirable ones.
  • Genetic engineering overcomes this limitation.
  • Genetic engineering includes:
    • Creation of recombinant DNA
    • Gene cloning
    • Gene transfer into host organism
  • The introduced piece of DNA does not replicate in the host unless it is integrated with the chromosome of host.
  • For getting replicated, the foreign DNA must integrate into the host DNA sequence having ‘origin of replication’. When this integration occurs, foreign DNA is replicated and many copies are formed. Thi
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