Bioreactor - Obtaining The Foreign Gene Product

Table of Contents

Recombinant DNA technology is the process that involves the introduction of a foreign piece of DNA into the gene of interest and the new DNA thus formed is the host genome. This gene that is introduced is the recombinant DNA and the technique is called recombinant DNA technology. Inserting the desired gene into the genome of the host is not as easy as it sounds. The ultimate aim of this process is to obtain desirable protein.

Let’s learn how to obtain the foreign gene product using a bioreactor.

Obtaining the Foreign Gene Product

In recombinant technologies, the desired gene selected which is followed by selecting a perfect vector into which the desired gene has to be integrated and then recombinant DNA is formed by ligating the gene of interest with the vector. Once this foreign DNA is inserted, the host is multiplied and ultimately desirable protein is produced.  The rDNA has to be maintained in the host and carried forward to the offspring. For the production of the desired protein, the gene encodes for it needs to be expressed. This happens only under optimized conditions. Not only the target protein has to be expressed but has to be produced on a large scale.

The recombinant cells can be multiplied on a large scale using a continuous culture system. Here the cells are cultured in a large vessel and the medium is refreshed on a regular interval to maintain the optimum conditions. This helps to culture a large mass of the desired protein. This can be achieved by using a bioreactor.


A bioreactor helps to produce a large volume of culture. The bioreactor is a large vessel where the different cells such as human or plant, or animal cells can be cultured to obtain new biological products. It provides optimum conditions like temperature, pH, substrate, oxygen, etc required for the culturing of cells producing desired products. Simple stirred-tank bioreactor and sparged stirred-tank bioreactor are the two types of bioreactors used for this purpose.


Downstream Processing

Downstream processing is a sequential step in which the isolation, purification and preservation of final products are done before it is marketed. In this stage, the final product is formulated with additives like preservatives, colours, etc., followed by clinical trials.

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Frequently Asked Questions on Bioreactor – Obtaining The Foreign Gene Product


What is Downstream processing in bioprocess engineering?

Downstream processing refers to the series of steps involved in the isolation and purification of products from the growth medium.


What is a bioreactor?

A bioreactor is a stainless steel vessel that provides a sterile environment for the growth of microbial or plant or animal cells. It contains the growth medium and dissolved oxygen along with temperature, pH, and pressure sensors.


Name any two types of bioreactor?

Simple stirred-tank bioreactor and sparged stirred-tank bioreactor are the two types of bioreactors.


How are proteins produced from foreign genes?

The foreign gene is inserted into a suitable vector to create rDNA. It is then inserted into the host cell where the foreign gene is expressed to produce proteins.


What is the importance of the agitation system in bioreactors?

The agitation system enables proper mixing of the contents inside the bioreactor. It helps in maintaining the uniform concentration of growth media inside the reactor.

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