This report provides:
An overview of the global market for microbes and microbial products.
Analyses of global market trends, with data from 2012, estimates for 2013, and projections of compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) through 2018.
Identifications of microbial applications in a wide range of fields, the applications and end uses that appear to have significant commercial potential in the near to mid-term, and quantitative estimates of their current and/or future sales.
Examination of market drivers, regulations, and recent technological developments.
Comprehensive company profiles of major players.
A microbe is a minute living organism, such as a bacterium, yeast, or fungus. The first commercial applications of microbes date back to around 1750 BC, when the ancient Sumerians used yeast to brew beer. Microbes were used for centuries to produce bread, wine, vinegar and other common products—without anyone knowing the scientific basis for the ingredient.
The systematic study of microbes began in the 17th century with the work of scientists like Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek and Robert Hooke. However, the discipline known today as microbiology was not established until the late 19th century through the work of pioneers like Louis Pasteur, Robert Koch, Martinus Beijerinck and Sergei Winogradsky.
The technology related to microbial production of metabolites such as ethanol, lactic acid, butanol, riboflavin, etc. and enzymes such as protease, amylase and invertase were developed as early as the first few decades of the 20th century. Large-scale production of the antibiotic penicillin from Penicillium fungi was perfected during World War II and the microbial production of other antibiotics, amino acids, nucleotides, enzymes and such soon followed.
Today, genetically engineered microbes are used for the commercial production of nonmicrobial products such as insulin, interferon, human growth hormone and viral vaccines. Microbes are also used to produce energy (e.g., biodiesel and bioethanol) and to clean up environmental pollutants such as sewage and oil spills. As the active ingredient in biofertilizers and biopesticides, microbes contribute to increasing agricultural productivity, and microbes form the basis of cost-effective methods of mining and metallurgy
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