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The Raw Materials of Biotechnology


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Title: The Raw Materials of Biotechnology

The Raw Materials of Biotechnology
Chapter 2
Learning Outcomes
  • Identify the levels of biological organization
    and explain their relationships
  • Describe cell structure and its significance in
    biotechnology research and product development
  • Discuss the types of organisms researched and the
    types of cells grown and studied in biotechnology
    facilities plus the products with which they are
  • Distinguish between the cellular organization of
    prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells
  • List the four main classes of macromolecules and
    describe their structure and function
  • Define genetic engineering and identify products
    created with this technology
  • Explain the Central Dogma of Biology and its
    importance in genetic engineering

2.1 Organisms and Their Components
  • To manufacture biotechnology products,
    biotechnicians must work with organisms and their
  • These are the raw materials of biotechnology.

The Living Condition
Levels of Biological Organization
  • Living things include
  • Plants
  • Animals
  • Bacteria
  • Fungi
  • Protozoans
  • Characteristics of life
  • Growth
  • Reproduction
  • Response to stimuli
  • Breakdown of food molecules
  • Production of waste products
  • Cells of multicellular organisms are usually
    grouped into functional units
  • Tissues
  • Organs
  • Cells are the smallest units of life. Some cells
    contain even smaller, nonliving units.

  • Fluorometer an instrument that measures the
    amount or type of light emitted
  • Organism a living thing
  • Cell the smallest unit of life that makes up
    all living organisms
  • Escerichia coli - a bacterium that is commonly
    used by biotechnology companies for the
    development of products
  • Multicellular composed of more than one cell
  • Cytology cell biology
  • Anatomy the structure and organization of
    living things
  • Physiology the processes and functions of
    living things
  • Respiration the breaking down of food molecules
    with the result of generating energy for the cell
  • Unicellular composed of one cell
  • Tissue a group of cells that function together
    (eg, muscle tissue or nervous tissue)
  • Organ tissues that act together to form a
    specific function in an organism (eg, stomach
    that breaks down food)

  • Proteins one of the four classes of
    macromolecules folded, functional polypeptides
    that conduct various functions within and around
    a cell (eg, adding structural support, catalyzing
    reactions, transporting molecules)
  • Eukaryotic/eukaryote a cell that contains
    membrane-bound organelles
  • Protist an organism belonging to the Kingdom
    Protista, which includes protozoans, slime molds,
    and certain algae
  • Organelles specialized microscopic factories,
    each with specific jobs in a cell
  • Mitochondria membrane-bound organelles that are
    responsible for generating cellular energy
  • Sugar a simple carbohydrate molecule composed
    of hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen
  • Starch a polysaccharide that is composed of
    many glucose molecules
  • Nucleic acid a class of macromolecules that
    directs the synthesis of all other cellular
    molecules often referred to as
    information-carrying molecules
  • Lipids one of the four classes of
    macromolecules includes fats, waxes, steroids,
    and oils
  • Pancreas an organ that secretes digestive
    fluids as well as insulin
  • Hormone a molecule that acts to regulate
    cellular functions

2.1 Review Questions
  1. Give an example of a plant that has been produced
    by biotechnology.
  2. Knowledge of what other disciplines of science
    will improve the understanding of biotechnology?
  3. Describe two characteristics of living things.
  4. Which of the following is considered to be
    alive organs, molecules, atoms, cells, or

2.2 Cellular Organization and Process
  • Cells produce different molecules.
  • Hundreds of different molecules can be produced.

The Structure of Cells
  • Cell walls
  • Cellulose fibers
  • Plasma membrane
  • Nucleus

Animal cell. Animal cells do not have a cell
wall and, thus, do not have a rigid cell
boundary. The shapes of animal cells are quite
diverse due to the flexibility of the outer
membrane and the response when cells touch each
Plant cell. Most plant cells contain
chloroplasts and a rigid cell wall. Animal cells
do not possess cell walls.
The Central Dogma of Biology. The Central Dogma
of Biology states that DNA codes for RNA and that
RNA codes for proteins (DNA -gt mRNA -gt proteins).
Once scientists had described the Central Dogma,
they could propose and test strategies for
manipulating protein production by manipulating
DNA and RNA codes. Moving genes into cells to
produce new proteins is the basic principle in
genetic engineering.
Each rod-shaped structure in this electron
micrograph is an E. coli cell. E. coli cells are
simple prokaryotes with no membrane-bound
organelles, such as mitochondria or chloroplasts.
Shown in cell culture, these CHO cells are a
common mammalian cell line used to manufacture
recombinant protein.
Types of Cells Used in Biotechnology
  • Plant cells
  • Animal cells
  • Bacteria cells
  • Fungal cells

  • Chlorophyll the green-pigmented molecules found
    in plants used for photosynthesis (production of
    chemical energy from light energy)
  • Photosynthesis a process by which plants or
    algae use light energy to make chemical energy
  • Chloroplast the specialized organelle in plants
    responsible for photosynthesis (production of
    chemical energy from light energy)
  • Cytoplasm a gel-like liquid of thousands of
    molecules suspended in water, outside the nucleus
  • Lysosome a membrane-bound organelle that is
    responsible for the breakdown of cellular waste
  • Ribosome the organelle in a cell where proteins
    are made
  • Cell wall a specialized organelle surrounding
    the cells of plants, bacteria, and some fungi
    gives support around the outer boundary of the
  • Cellulose a structural polysaccharide that is
    found in plant cell walls
  • Plasma membrane a specialized organelle of the
    cell that regulates the movement of materials
    into and out of the cell
  • Glucose a 6-carbon sugar that is produced
    during photosynthesis reactions usual form of
    carbohydrate used by animals, including humans

  • Adenosine triphosphate a nucleotide that serves
    as an energy storage molecule
  • Nucleus a membrane-bound organelle that
    encloses the cells DNA
  • Chromosomes the long strands of DNA intertwined
    with protein molecules
  • Enzyme a protein that functions to speed up
    chemical reactions
  • Pigments the molecules that are colored due to
    the reflection of specific wavelengths
  • Messenger RNA (mRNA) a class of RNA molecules
    responsible for transferring genetic information
    from the chromosomes to ribosomes where proteins
    are made often abbreviated mRNA
  • Amino acids the subunits of proteins each
    contains a central carbon atom attached to an
    amino group (-NH2), a carboxyl group (-COOH), and
    a distinctive R group
  • Polypeptides a strand of amino acids connected
    to each other through peptide bonds
  • Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) an animal cell line
    commonly used in biotechnology studies
  • Vero cells African green monkey kidney
    epithelial cells
  • HeLa cells human epithelial cells
  • Prokaryotic/prokaryote a cell that lacks
    membrane-bound organelles

2.2 Review Questions
  1. Which of the follow structures are found in
    prokaryotic cells a nucleus, ribosomes,
    mitochondria, a plasma membrane, or one or more
  2. Which of the following structures are found in
    eukaryotic cells a nucleus, ribosomes,
    mitochondria, a plasma membrane, or one or more
  3. Describe the relationship between chromosomes,
    mRNA, and proteins.
  4. Explain how so many cells from the same organism
    can look so different from each other.

2.3 The Molecules of Cells
  • Engineered molecules are the basis of many
    biotechnology products.
  • Cells are composed of a variety of molecules.
  • Many molecules found in cells are much larger
    than atoms.
  • Very large molecules are found in structural

  • Carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen
  • Ratio 121

  • Excellent structural and energy-storing molecules
  • Plants store glucose in starch molecules

  • Monomer units that cells use to build
  • Most well known is glucose an energy molecule

Structural Formula of Amylopectin. Amylopectin is
one form of plant starch, and amylose is another.
Plant starch, such as corn starch, is a key
ingredient in many foods.
Structural Formula Glucose. Glucose is a 6-carbon
sugar (C6H12O5) produced by plants during
photosynthesis. Most plants use glucose as an
energy source.
Structural Formula of 5-carbon Sugars.
Deoxyribose (left) and ribose (right) are
structural 5-carbon sugars found in the nucleic
acids, DNA and RNA, respectively. Do you see the
difference in their structure?
  • Produced when enzymes form a bond between two
  • Sucrose is made when fructose and glucose are
    chemically combined

  • Often referred to as hydrocarbons
  • Three groups of lipids
  • Triglycerides
  • Phospholipids
  • Steroids

Structural Formula of Maltose. Maltose is a
disaccharide composed of two glucose molecules
bound at carbon No.1 and carbon No.4. When
organisms digest maltose, the bond holding the
glucose monomers together is broken and energy is
Nucleic Acids
  • The most important of the cellular molecules
  • Nine different categories of proteins
  • Structural
  • Enzyme
  • Transport
  • Contractile
  • Hormone
  • Antibody
  • Pigment
  • Recognition
  • Toxins
  • A typical cell produces more than 2000 proteins
  • Amino acids are the monomers of proteins
  • There are 20 different amino acids found in
  • The fourth major group of macromolecules
  • Two types of nucleic acids
  • DNA
  • RNA

Polypeptide Strand. A polypeptide strand is made
of amino acids connected to each other through
peptide bonds. A folded, functional polypeptide
chain is called a protein. Each protein has a
specific amino acid sequence and folding pattern.
Two Nucleotides. A nucleotide is a molecule
composed of a nitrogenous base (in pink), a
5-carbon sugar (in yellow), and a phosphate group
(in blue).
  • Macromolecule a large molecule usually composed
    of smaller repeating units chained together
  • Organic molecules that contain carbon and are
    only produced in living things
  • Carbohydrates one of the four classes of
    macromolecules organic compounds consisting of
    carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, generally in a
    121 ratio
  • Cytoskeleton a protein network in the cytoplasm
    that gives the cell structural support
  • Monomers the repeating units that make up
  • Polymer a large molecule made of many repeating
  • Monosaccharide the monomer unit that cells use
    to build polysaccharides also known as a single
    sugar or simple sugar
  • Disaccharide a polymer that consists of two
    sugar molecules
  • Polysaccharide a long polymer composed of many
    simple sugar molecules (usually glucose or a
    variation of glucose)
  • Fructose a 6-carbon sugar found in high
    concentration in fruits also called fruit sugar
  • Sucrose a disaccharide composed of glucose and
    fructose also called table sugar
  • Lactose a disaccharide composed of glucose and
    galactose also called milk sugar
  • Amylose a plant starch with unbranched glucose

  • Amylopectin a plant starch with branched
    glucose chains
  • Glycogen an animal starch with branched glucose
  • Cellular respiration the process by which cells
    break down glucose to create other energy
  • Deoxyribose the 5-carbon sugar found in DNA
  • Hydrophobic repelled by water
  • Triglycerides a group of lipids that includes
    animal fats and plant oils
  • Ribose the 5-carbon sugar found in RNA
  • Phospholipids a class of lipids that are
    primarily found in membranes of the cell
  • Hydrophilic having an attraction for water
  • Steroids a group of lipids whose functions
    include acting as hormones (testosterone and
    estrogen), venoms, and pigments
  • R group the chemical side-group on an amino
    acid in nature, there are 20 different R groups
    that are found on amino acids
  • Ribonucleic acid the macromolecule that
    functions in the conversion of genetic
    instructions (DNA) into proteins
  • Nucleotides the monomer units of nucleic acids

2.3 Review Questions
  1. Which of the following are monosaccharides
    cellulose, sucrose, glucose, lactose, fructose,
    or amyolpectin?
  2. Which of the following molecules are proteins
    that function as hormones estrogen, insulin,
    human growth hormone, testosterone, or
  3. What distinguishes one amino acid from another?
  4. How are the terms nucleotide, nitrogenous base,
    and nucleic acid related to each other?

2.4 The New Biotechnology
  • The most significant breakthrough came when
    scientists learned how to move pieces of DNA
    within and between organisms.
  • The first genetic engineering occurred in 1973.
  • The first genetically engineered product to reach
    the marketplace was human insulin.

2.4 Review Questions
  1. What term is used to describe DNA that has been
    produced by cutting and pasting together pieces
    of DNA from two different organisms?
  2. What organism was the first to be genetically
  3. What was the first commercial genetically
    engineered product?

Questions and Comments?