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Microbial cultivation is the process of actively facilitating microbial growth. Cultivation is undertaken for numerous reasons. For example, both bioleaching and wastewater treatment are processes that require cultivation of microorganisms.

In order to optimize microbial growth one has to find and use an environment which fits the microbe/s which will be grown. However, it has been suggested that << 1% of the microorganisms in nature can be cultivated with the methodology available today. To enable studies of diversity and function of microorganisms in the environment, a new cultivation independent methodology, metagenomics, has been developed.


Compare batch versus continuous cultivation. Which mode is usually used in bioleaching? Compare bioleaching and wastewater treatment with a fermentation-process, with the goal of producing a recombinant protein. Do the processes include one microorganism species or a community of microorganism species? How does the goal of recombinant protein production differ from the goals of bioleaching and wastewater treatment? Think of biomass-production and consumption of substrates. Why are no bioleaching and wastewater treatment processes sterile? Why would the composition of the microbial community change during bioleaching and wastewater treatment? Is that change favourable for the results of the processes? What happens if the recombinant protein process would be non-sterile?

See also


Madigan, M.T., J.M. Martinko, and J. Parker “Brock Biology of Microorganisms”, Prentice-Hall, Inc. 10th ed. 2000. Chapter 5?, pp 149-177.

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