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Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2000 Sep;54(3):287-301.

Improvement of microbial strains and fermentation processes.

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  • 1Natural Products Development Group, Dow AgroSciences LLC, Indianapolis, IN 46268-1504, USA.


Improvement of microbial strains for the overproduction of industrial products has been the hallmark of all commercial fermentation processes. Conventionally, strain improvement has been achieved through mutation, selection, or genetic recombination. Overproduction of primary or secondary metabolites is a complex process, and successful development of improved strains requires a knowledge of physiology, pathway regulation and control, and the design of creative screening procedures. In addition, it requires mastery of the fermentation process for each new strain, as well as sound engineering know-how for mediaoptimization and the fine-tuning of process conditions. This review focuses on the various options that may be employed to improve microbial strains and addresses the complex problems of screening, the tools and technology behind the selection of targeted organisms, and the importance of process optimization. Furthermore, this review discusses new and emerging technologies and designing optimized media for tracking mutants with enhanced productivity or other desired attributes.

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