Module Title:Microbial Cell Factory
Language of Instruction:English
Credits: 5
NFQ Level:7
Module Delivered In 2 programme(s)
Teaching & Learning Strategies: Microbial Cell Factory will be taught employing the dual approach of lectures and practicals so students will learn the theory of microbial metabolism with respect to primary and secondary metabolite production to include, alcohol, antibiotic and enzyme production. In addition students will engage with problem based learning and student led inquiry on selected microbial physiology scenarios.
Module Aim: This module will provide learners with an overview of the applications that relate to the use of microbes in biotechnology and in biopharmaceutical manufacture of useful products and services. Syllabus content will include the historical discovery of useful microorganisms, strain selection and genetic improvement.
Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this module the learner should be able to:
LO1 Describe how beneficial microbes have been discovered and employed in large scale bioprocesses
LO2 Explain the construction and composition of growth media used in the cultivation of microbes at industrial scale
LO3 Explain options for bioreactor design, control and optimisation in biotechnology and biopharmaceutical operations
LO4 Demonstrate a knowledge of the downstream processes employed in the purification and finishing steps involved in biopharmaceutical manufacture
LO5 Demonstrate adequate practical and theoretical skills in working with industrially important microorganisms and their metabolites in a laboratory environment
Pre-requisite learning
Module Recommendations

This is prior learning (or a practical skill) that is recommended before enrolment in this module.

No recommendations listed
Incompatible Modules
These are modules which have learning outcomes that are too similar to the learning outcomes of this module.
No incompatible modules listed
Co-requisite Modules
No Co-requisite modules listed
This is prior learning (or a practical skill) that is mandatory before enrolment in this module is allowed.
No requirements listed

Module Content & Assessment

Indicative Content
Review Applied Microbiology with relevance to Industrial uses
Summary of 2nd year general and applied microbiological principles of particular importance to the commercial exploitation of valuable microbes.
Industrial Microbiology
Principles and definitions of fermentation, fermenter and bioreactor. Classification of fermentation products to include, biomass, metabolites and bio-transformations. Biotech products by sector, bulk and fine chemicals. Primary and secondary metabolites as industrially valuable products. Other biotechnological applications of microbial cells as bio-catalysts and in bio-remediation. Penicillin its discovery and large scale production. Novel approaches to antibiotic discovery. Production of organic acids, amino acids, industrial enzymes and other metabolites. The uses of immobilized enzymes and bio-catalysts. Microbial bio-transformation of steroids and amino acids. The importance of acetone butanol in the development of fermentation science and other selected topics.
Industrial Bio-processing
Upstream bio-processing: essential features of a fermenter, different kinds of fermenters, sterilisation and maintenance of sterility, introduction to gas exchange and mass transfer and scale-up. Downstream processing: separation technologies, centrifugation and filtration, cell disintegration, solvent extraction and other purification techniques. Screening for metabolites. Strain improvement. Culture management. Inoculum preparation. Substrates for industrial fermentations. Regulation of enzyme activity and synthesis. Metabolic control and the overproduction of desirable metabolites. Primary and Secondary metabolism.
Fungi in Biotechnology
100 years of Aspergillus niger and its products in Industrial Microbioogy. Transport and metabolism in Fungi. Enzymes from Fungi. Solid state fermentation. The microbiology of mushroom production, alcohol, lactic acid and yeast production. Single Cell Protein. Yeast Microbiology in brewing and baking. Yeast genomics in brewing including evolution, domestication and diversity. Antifungals.
Assessment Breakdown%
Continuous Assessment20.00%
End of Module Formal Examination60.00%
Special Regulation
Students must achieve a minimum grade (35%) in both the practical/CA and final examination

SETU Carlow Campus reserves the right to alter the nature and timings of assessment


Module Workload

Workload: Full Time
Workload Type Frequency Average Weekly Learner Workload
Lecture 12 Weeks per Stage 2.00
Practicals 12 Weeks per Stage 2.00
Independent Learning 15 Weeks per Stage 5.13
Total Hours 125.00

Module Delivered In

Programme Code Programme Semester Delivery
CW_SABTP_B Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Biosciences with Biopharmaceuticals 6 Mandatory
CW_SABFQ_D Bachelor of Science in Biosciences 6 Mandatory