Chapter 13 : Microbial Versatility in Berlin

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In this chapter, the author talks about the major talking points at the World Congress of Biotechnology held in Berlin, Germany, in 2000. The author first mentions Henryk Struszczyk and his colleagues who contrived to harness bacteria in efforts to improve the quality of sound reproduction. What they set out to do was to engineer to synthesize modified forms of bacterial cellulose. They then experimented further with the cellulose produced and found that they could spin its fibers and fashion the material into various forms, including sheets. Two of the other major talking points at the Congress were the engineering of staphylococcal surfaces for biotechnology purposes and the practical exploitation of other bacteria even when they cannot be cultured in the laboratory. and are two organisms that Stefan Stahl and colleagues had modified for both medical and environmental purposes. Berlin participants heard about several organisms, identified by molecular techniques such as fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) that have practical utility even though they resist traditional enrichment and isolation efforts. Holger Daims and his coworkers identified target populations based on the sequences of rRNA and functional genes and determined their abundances in bioreactors by semiautomatic quantification with FISH, confocal laser scanning microscopy, and digital image analysis.

Citation: Dixon B. 2009. Microbial Versatility in Berlin, p 57-60. In Animalcules. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817442.ch13
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