Biotechnology – methods and techniques for obtaining useful products for humans using living organisms.
Biotechnological processes have long been used in the production of bread, lactic acid products, wine, and beer.
Biotechnology objects are microorganisms (bacteria, cyanobacteria, fungi, protists). Their features: short life cycle, intensive reproduction, a wide variety of biochemical properties, easy production of mutants.
In the selection of microorganisms, induced mutagenesis and subsequent selection of groups of genetically identical cells with desired properties are used.
Biotechnology opens up new possibilities for breeding. Its main areas are microbiological synthesis, genetic and cellular engineering.
Microbiological synthesis – the use of microorganisms to obtain proteins, enzymes, organic acids, drugs and other substances.
With the help of microorganisms, lysine (an amino acid that is not formed in the body of animals; it is added to plant foods), organic acids (acetic, citric, lactic, etc.), vitamins, and antibiotics are obtained.
Cellular engineering – growing cells outside the body on special nutrient media.
The cells grow and multiply to form a tissue culture.
Tissue culture is organ, tissue or cell fragments grown outside the body.
A whole organism can be grown from plant cells. Using this method, valuable plant varieties are obtained and propagated.
The methods of cell engineering include hybridization (fusion) of both sex and somatic cells.
Hybridization of germ cells allows fertilization in vitro and implantation of a fertilized egg into the mother’s body.
Hybridization of somatic cells makes it possible to create new plant varieties that have useful traits and are resistant to unfavorable environmental factors.
The production of hybrid cells that combine the properties of lymphocytes and cancer cells makes it possible to quickly obtain antibodies.
Genetic engineering is the artificial restructuring of the genome.
Example: by introducing the corresponding human genes into the E. coli genotype, the hormones insulin and somatotropin are obtained.
Organisms in the genome of which the genes of other species are inserted are called transgenic, or genetically modified.