[Blueboard] BioSeminar on March 17

rjulian at ateneo.edu rjulian at ateneo.edu
Fri Mar 7 13:25:55 PHT 2008

The Department of Biology cordially invites everyone to a special  
BioSeminar to be given by Dr. Francisco B. Elegado on March 17, 2008,  
Monday, from 4:30 - 6:00 PM at the Escaler Hall. Below is the abstract  
of his presentation.


Francisco B. Elegado, Ph. D.
Program Leader, Food, Feeds and Specialty Projects Biotechnology Program
BIOTECH, U.P. Los Baños, College, Laguna

Fermentation industries deal with carefully selected microorganisms  
(inocula) and unwanted microbes that may spoil the fermentation  
process or cause product spoilage upon storage.  Microorganisms used  
as fermentation inocula are usually obtained after tedious and costly  
process of screening and genetic improvement. Hence, it is important  
that these microbes are fingerprinted for patenting and intellectual  
property rights (IPR) protection. On the other hand, the presence of  
unwanted or spoilage microbes before, during and after processing  
should also be accurately and rapidly detected. These are achieved  
either through protein-based or nucleic acid-based fingerprinting and  
detection methods, the latter being the more recent norm.

There are techniques in biotechnology that help facilitate DNA-based  
fingerprinting and detection such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR),  
gel electrophoresis methods, fragmentation using restriction enzymes,  
hybridization, blotting and staining method, and DNA sequencing. When  
used in combination they become more effective and powerful. Examples  
of microbial DNA fingerprinting methods developed are restriction  
enzyme fragmentation and pulse-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE),  
restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) and Southern blotting,  
PCR-based locus specific RFLP, Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism  
(AFLP), Randomly Amplified Polymorphic DNA (RAPD), Cleavage Fragment  
Length Polymorphism, Repetitive Element-Based Polymerase Chain  
Reaction (rep-PCR), PCR-Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis  
(DGGE), among others. For rapid and accurate detection of  
microorganisms, multiplex PCR and rt-PCR are utilized.

We have some modest researches in BIOTECH involving the use of some of  
these methods to develop DNA-amplification systems for rapid detection  
of bacterial food pathogens such as Salmonella typhimurium,  
Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli 0157:H7 and Listeria  
monocytogenes.  Salmonella, E. coli and S. aureus detection kits are  
now in the post-validation stage prior to commercialization. Other  
researches were on the DNA fingerprinting of probiotic and  
bacteriocin-producing lactic acid bacteria, high alcohol-producing  
Saccharomyces cerevisiae and saccharine-utilizing Zymomonas mobilis  
for bio-ethanol production.

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