Micro-organisms i.e. fungi and bacteria are being used by humans since millenniums, for the production of food,drugs,pharma-products and other chemicals of high-value. Phenomenon of fermentation using microbes dates back to Neolithic age.
They provide texture, taste and smell to food. In addition produce certain inhibitory compounds to prevent food spoilage and increasing storage duration and safety of food.
In the production of food required in the fermentation we need lactobacilli, here lactic acid fermentation is concerned. Which include fermented dairy products (cheese,yogurt) , fermented meat, fermented vegetables and sourdough bread. Other microbes of same genera include Straptococcus, Leuconostoc, Pediococcus etc. they are equally important.
These are heterotrophic organisms possessing complex nutritional requirements generally.
Metchnikoff is the winner of nobel prize, for his study on phagocytosis. He was very much interested in process of aging and unlike modern methods which says it’s the condition of non-mutated DNA sequence responsible for the aging he concentrated more on the gut micro-biota and termed them as natural intoxicants from within. He considered them capable enough to destroy biochemistry of human body. Thus, termed “autointoxicants” to them.
Lilly and Stillwill were the pioneers of the word probiotic to describe the substances produced by one microbe to stimulate growth of other. They were called, ” Organisms and substances which contribute to intestinal balance of microbes.
Saccharomyces is an important fungi of baking and brewing industry. Oregon state in 2013 declared S.cerevisiae as state microbe due to its role in revenue generation of the brewing industry. Probiotic production also need fungi.
Antibiotic are the examples of drug production by microbes. In 1928, Fleming an scottish scientist produced Penicillin from Penicillium. This discovery led to the production of many others.
Recombinant proteins are the other pharmaceutical product of vital importance these days, eukaryotic yeast is preferred over prokaryotic species for bringing modification here, i.e. post translational modification in protein.