Microbial Production of Metabolites

Microbial production of metabolites is a cost-effective and sustainable approach to producing high-value compounds. Microorganisms are relatively easy to grow and manipulate, and they have the potential to produce a wide range of metabolites with diverse chemical structures. There are several types of microbial metabolites that can be produced, including antibiotics, enzymes, organic acids, vitamins, and biofuels. These microbial natural products have revolutionized bioprocess technologies, agricultural sustainability, and biopharmaceuticals.

Primary Metabolites Secondary Metabolites
Amino acids Antibiotics
Vitamins Pigments
Nucleic acid Toxins
Polysachchrides Alkaloids
Ethanol Steroids
Lactic acid Polymeric substances

Table 1 Microbial Primary and Secondary Metabolites

Microbial Production

The process of microbial production of metabolites typically involves selecting a suitable microorganism, optimizing growth conditions, and then inducing the production of the desired metabolite. This can be done by manipulating environmental factors such as temperature, pH, and nutrient availability. Genetic engineering techniques can also be used to modify the microorganism's metabolic pathways to enhance the production of specific metabolites.

Microbial Production of Primary Metabolites

Through fermentation, microorganisms growing on inexpensive carbon sources can produce valuable products such as amino acids, nucleotides, organic acids, and vitamins. Microorganisms have the potential to provide many petroleum-derived products as well as the ethanol necessary for liquid fuel. The role of primary metabolites and the microbes which produce them will certainly increase in importance.

Figure 1 Microbial primary metabolismFigure 1 Microbial primary metabolism

Microbial Production of Secondary Metabolites

Microbial secondary metabolites are low molecular mass products, not essential for growth of the producing cultures. They include antibiotics, antitumor agents, cholesterol-lowering drugs, and others. They have unusual structures and are usually formed during the late growth phase of the producing microorganisms. Its synthesis can be influenced greatly by manipulating the type and concentration of the nutrients formulating the culture media. Our knowledge and manipulation have been useful either for setting fermentation conditions or for strain improvement.

Figure 2 Classification of reported Bacillus secondary metabolites.Figure 2 Classification of reported Bacillus secondary metabolites. (I. Horak, et al. 2019)

Production Steps

Upstream Processing

Upstream Processing

Fermentation and Transformation

Fermentation and Transformation

Downstream Processing

Downstream Processing

  • Screening, selection, maintenance of source microorganism for the production of target metabolite (primary or secondary).
  • Optimization and standardization of growth medium and conditions (choice of fermenter vessel, aeration, temperature, agitation, pH, etc.) for large-scale (fermentation) protocol.
  • Sterilization of the medium, fermenter and ancillary equipment.
  • Active, pure culture in sufficient quantities is used to inoculate growth medium in fermenter.
  • The growth of the organism in the production fermenter under optimum conditions for product formation.
  • The extraction of the product and its purification.
  • Disposal of effluents produced by the process.

Fermentation Plants

Laboratory Semi Pilot & Pilot Plants Industrial Plants
2-5 L fermenters, incubation chambers, master cell bank, etc. Cutting edge technology focused on versatility for all types of development projects (up to 2,000 L fermenter). Different fermentation chamber capacities.
Auxiliary tanks and continuous sterilizers.
Distillation columns.

Custom options for Microbial End-products


Creative Biogene offers CDMO services for various microbial biologics. We have the commercial experience and technological flexibility to scale manufacturing on a need-based or rolling basis. Our sites are growing globally as the expansion of facilities has increased the capacity for microbial systems. In addition, we have experience in developing processes for mRNA vaccines, monoclonal antibody manufacturing, pDNA, and Viral Vector (Lenti viral and Adeno Associated Virus) platforms.

If you are interested in our services, please contact us for more details.

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