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    Hey, can anyone explain primary and secondary metabolites to me and their relevance to biotechnology, i.e. chosing microorganisms to be used in processes?
    :confused:
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    desperate..
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    From what I remember, secondary metabolites are produced after the main growth phase is over. Which is why if the product you require is a secondary metabolite (ie penicillin) you have to use a batch fermenter and not a continuous fermenter (as that only allows the primary metabolites to be formed)

    Hope that helps. Sorry i'm not the best at Biology, this is just off the top of my head.
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    (Original post by misty)
    Hey, can anyone explain primary and secondary metabolites to me and their relevance to biotechnology, i.e. chosing microorganisms to be used in processes?
    :confused:
    As someone has already said, Secondary Metabolites are produced once the main growth phase is over, ie after the exponential growth phase. They aren't essential for the growth or metabolism of the microorganism. For example penicillin is a secondary metabolite produced a fungus.

    Secondary metabolites can only be obtained by Batch Culturing (Penicillin is made by cyclic batch-fed culturing). Continuous fermentation can't be used because it keeps the microorganism growing in the exponential growth phase: secondary metabolites are only produced after this phase. Compare the production of P. Chrysogenum (the fungus from which Penicillin is obtained) with Fusarium (as used to make Quorn, the meat substitute) - the former must be produced by batch because it's the secondary metabolite that's wanted; the latter is produced by continuous because the microorganism itself is the product, so the process is very efficient.
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    cheers guys- thats loads of help!
 
 
 
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