Contemporary Views on Biotechnological Potential of Symbiotic Microorganisms
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Microorganisms are essentially the main “workhorses” of contemporary biotechnology. It should be noted that a large proportion of microorganism strains existing in nature, including many representatives of anaerobe symbiotic bacteria in the human gut, are difficult and often impossible to cultivate in ordinary microbiological laboratories (Browne et al. 2016). As many as 1000–10,000 prokaryotic microorganism species are present in 1 g of soil. Out of 23,000 microbial metabolites known to date (42% of them are produced by fungi and 32% by actinomycetes), many are used already in the form of antibiotics, anti-cancer agents, immunosuppressors, hypocholesterolemic, antivirus, deworming drugs, nutraceutics, dietary and technical exopolysaccharides, surfactants, herbicides, various enzymes, amino acids, vitamins, vaccines etc. Suffice it to say that over 15,000 various natural and synthetic and semi-synthetic antibiotics created on their base are known by now, and 150 of them are commercially available. To date, over 1000 antimicrobial peptides have been isolated, with bacteriocins being a common example. The representatives of the Myxobacteria genus alone form over 300 different antimicrobial compounds. Presently, the world’s market of antibiotics exceeds USD 35 billion (Guilherme et al. 2006). The annual production of the glutamic acid by using microbial starter cultures exceeds 2.2 million tons, lysine — 1.3 million tons, threonine — 77,000 tons, phenylalanine — 16,000 tons, В12 vitamin — 12 tons. The production of the polylactic acid of microbial origin does not differ in its volumes from polypropylene and reaches 140,000 tons a year; the main characteristic feature of the polylactic acid is its capability of quick biodegradation.
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