Sunday, February 13, 2011

Good microbes

We tend to focus on the bad microbes in this class. But let us not forget all those wonderful microbes that make food and drink more interesting. If you like your cheese blue then you owe another debt to the ever versatile Penicillium genus. A number of species in this genus are used to give the characteristic mold veins to Roquefort, Danish Blue, Gorgonzola and the characteristic white rind to Camembert and Brie.

Oscillator, a synthetic biology blog, had a recent post featuring scanning electron micrographs of foodstuffs. I hadn't realized that the Penicillium genus is named after the latin word for "paintbrush" because of its shape.

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