No small plans for biotech

Advancements in Biotechnology

Biotechnology as the name indicates is the assemblage of technology in science of biology. Modern Biotechnology initiated with the discovery of double helical structure of the DNA. Subsequent investigation that helped in unraveling the process of inheritance pattern provided impetus to biotechnological research. The elaborative information on gene structure, function and regulation laid the formulation of biotechnology on a firm footing. Reverse transcription discovered in certain organisms paved the way for a new field of science, namely genetic engineering and the comprehensive utilization of the technique in biotechnology.

It soon becomes evident that by the use of suitable plasmid and bacteriophage vectors that transformation and transduction of foreign genes into heterologous hosts could be achieved. This led to the production of therapeutic proteins, transgenic plants and development of many novel vaccines.

There are many reasons for world-wide race in biotechnology. The different advancements of biotechnology are discussed below:

1) Genetic engineering
The utilization of genetic machinery of life for production of any special substance is called "genetic engineering" e.g., Cloning of penicillin G acylase gene. The latter converts penicillin G into G-APA (6 amino acid penicillanic acid). This 6 APA is a useful substrate for the production of synthetic penicillins. 6APA through genetic engineering is transferred in E.coli strain ATCC 11105. It is cloned in plasmid PBR 322 found.

a) In E.coli strain, which amplifies the penicillin acylase gene 50 times per cell, while the enzyme production was enhanced 6 fold. This increase of 6 fold has importance in antibiotic industry.

b) Cloning of (nif) nitrogen fixation genes
Microbes are capable of fixing atmospheric nitrogen for supply to agricultural lands e.g., Klebsiella neumoniae (free living). Rhizobium (symbiotic) nif region of Klebsiella neumoniae consists of a DNA segment consisting of seven operons including 15 genes clustered together. Cloning of this nif region was achieved in the form of plasmid called PWK 120 which imparts nitrogen fixation capacity to E.coli.

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