Environmental laboratory

A.Y. 2017/2018
Overall hours
AGR/13 AGR/16 CHIM/06
Learning objectives
The course aims to provide the student with the knowledge of the principal aspects of chemical contamination in the different environmental compartments (water, air, soils) and the main organic and inorganic pollutants. The course introduces the analytical instrumental techniques used in environmental chemistry such as spectroscopy and chromatography. It defines the main chemical technologies related to the treatment of refusal, the site remediation and the current regulations.The course aims to provide students with knowledge regarding the microbial metabolism in relation to some environmental contaminants. The goal is to define the functions of microorganisms in the environment, both from a knowledge of biodiversity in natural resource conservation actions, to the use of microbial metabolism in the environment restoration. The learning of advanced laboratory tools for the analysis of microbial communities and for the evaluation of the persistence and activity of a microorganism introduced into the environment alongside the theoretical study.Lessons:
a) to define the molecular and physiological aspects of plant adaptation to abiotic environmental stresses.
b) to furnish elements for understanding the processes causing the presence and the fate of inorganic and organics pollutants in the environment, as well as the processes involved in their accumulation into the plants and their toxic effects on biocenosis
c) to furnish elements for using plants as biondicator of the presence of pollutants in the environment and for developing the remediation (phytoremedation) of contaminated soils
Experimental activities:
-to furnish basic skills concerning the major instrumental analysis techniques adopted for studying soil and plant content in inorganic and organic pollutants (UV-Vis spectrometry, GC-MS, LC-MS, ICP-MS; C/H/N/S analyser) and the physiological status of the plants (IR thermography, leaf fluorescence, chlorophyll content, leaf photosynthesis activity)-
-to acquire competences useful to elaborate field sampling plans for monitoring the presence of pollutants in soil, water and plant material
-to develop adequate statistical analysis for elaborating large data sets from environmental investigations.
Expected learning outcomes
The student will achieve the ability to develop and to apply methodologies for the environmental data management acquiring a suitable judgement autonomy. Must also be able to apply the acquired knowledge to the comprehension and valuation of phenomena and problems arising from the interaction between antropogenic activity and environmental matrices.The student will have the knowledge to define choices in environmental actions involving the use of appropriate microbial biotechnologies. The student will acquire phenotypic and molecular techniques for the study of environmental microbial populations, to process the data obtained and to discuss them in an interdisciplinary team.Knowledge and skills in the field of stress plant physiology and instrumental analytical chemistry useful to develop low-input approaches for the monitoring and remediation of polluted sites.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
environmental chemistry
Course syllabus
Lectures (3 credits): Measure units. Heavy metals: chemistry and toxicology. Environmental sampling, samples storage. Spectroscopy: Electromagnetic radiation, Adsorption and emission spectroscopy: principles. Ultraviolet and Visible spectroscopy: Lambert Beer law, instrumentation and applications. Mass spectroscopy: theory, instrumentation, quadrupole detector, ICP-MS. Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR): theory, instrumentation, chemical shift, spectra of elements other that H and C. Fundamentals of chromatography: retention time, selectivity, efficiency. Gas chromatography and HPLC, instrumentation, use in
Workshop (3 credits): Safety rules in a chemical laboratory. Sampling on the site under investigation. Sample extraction, separation by TLC and HPLC and quantification by spectrophotometric methods of plant pigments. Analysis of heavy metals and other elements by means of ICP-MS. Recording NMR spectra of different nuclei.
Teaching methods
Lucidi delle lezioni, articoli forniti dal docente.
Environmental microbiology
Course syllabus
Lectures (3 credits): Bacterial resistance and metabolism of heavy metals and Arsenic. The microbiological sampling. Methods of analysis and monitoring of environmental microbial communities. Microbiology of the rhizosphere. The endophytic bacteria. The plant growth promoting bacteria. Microbial life in extreme environments: the acid mine drainage. Biological wastewater treatment. The biofilm systems in the water treatment technology. Hydrogen and methane bioreactors. Bioremediation of contaminated sites.
Workshops (3 credits): Safety in microbiology laboratories. Sampling on the site under investigation. Preparation of fractions of rhizosphere soil and rhizoplane. Extraction endophyte cells from the plant tissues. Extracting DNA from rhizosphere soil and plant tissues. Preparation of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and quantitative PCR: 16S rRNA and functional genes. Electrophoresis run on agarose gel. Electrophoresis on acryl amide gels: technique with denaturing gradient (DGGE). Analysis of nucleotide sequences. Phenotypic analysis of a collection of environmental isolates: arsenic resistance, plant growth promotion (siderophores, IAA, EPS, phosphate solubilisation, ACC deaminase). Data analysis and discussion. Preparation of the report.
Teaching methods
Lucidi delle lezioni.
Articoli forniti dal docente.
Microbiologia agroambientale, a cura di Bruno Biavati e
Claudia Sorlini, casa editrice Ambrosiana.
Brock Biologia dei microrganismi 2 - Microbiologia
ambientale ed indistriale, Pearson ed.
biochimica ambientale ed ecotossicologia
Course syllabus
-Causes and effects of the major kind of soil pollution
-Heavy metals (HMs) soil pollution: effects on the soil-plant system
-Root uptake and root-to-shoot translocation of HMs
-The HMs in the food chain
-The toxic effects of HMs on plant metabolism and physiology
-Mechanisms of plant tolerance to excess of HMs
-HMs hyper-accumulating plants
-Plant hyper-accumulating Zn, Cd or As: some examples
-Food safety: how reducing the risks of the presence of sub-toxic levels of HMs and/or metalloids in the edible plants organs
-Remediation of soil polluted by HMs and/or metalloids: the phytoremedition techniques (vantages and limits)
-Uptake, translocation and metabolism of organic xenobiotics in the plants
-Risks for the food chain due to the accumulation in the edible plant organs of residues produced by the degradation of organic xenobiotics pollutants
-Roles played by the rhizosphere and endophytic microbiomes in the interactions between plants and pollutants
-Plant bio-indicator and biosensor for monitoring soil pollution
-GM pants for environmental monitoring and remediation.
-European Commission: legislation on heavy metals and organic pollutants in soil, feed and food
-Open field sampling techniques for studying water and soil pollution status and the presence of contamints into the plant
-Georeferentiation, collection, cataloguing and conservation of soil, water and plant samples
Instrumental techniques for the evaluation of the level of HMs and/or metalloids (including eventual speciation) in soils, waters and pant biomass: ICP-MS and HPLC-ICP-MS techniques (experiences of sample preparation and analysis); other methods: atomic absorption spectrometry, laser ablation ICP-MS, micro x-ray fluorescence, synchrotron microbeam techniques. Vantages and advantages of the different techniques
-Experimental evaluation of the Kow of organic xenobiotics
-Extraction and analysis of organic xenobiotics in polluted soils and waters and in contaminated plants by HPLC, GC-MS and LC-MS techniques
-Lab level evaluation of the efficiency of plant in the remediation of soil polluted with inorganic and/or organic contaminants
-Evolution of the physiological status of plants under chemical stresses: leaf fluorescence and gaseous exchanges
-Statistical elaboration and presentation of experimental data
Teaching methods
Buchanan et al. ¿Biochimica e Biologia Molecolare delle Piante¿
Ed. Zanichelli

Baird C., Cann M. "Chimica ambientale" Ed. Zanichelli

L. Scarponi "Biochimica Agraria" Patron Editore

Alpi P., Pupillo P, Rigano C ¿Fisiologia delle Piante¿ EdiSES

Taiz L e Zeigher E. ¿Fisiologia Vegetale¿ Piccin Editore, Padova

Articoli monografici su riviste di settore indicati durante il corso.

Ricerche autonome e guidate su siti internet
biochimica ambientale ed ecotossicologia
AGR/13 - AGRICULTURAL CHEMISTRY - University credits: 6
Laboratories: 48 hours
Lessons: 24 hours
environmental chemistry
CHIM/06 - ORGANIC CHEMISTRY - University credits: 6
Laboratories: 48 hours
Lessons: 24 hours
Professors: Bedussi Floriana, Scaglioni Leonardo, Vigani Gianpiero
Environmental microbiology
AGR/16 - AGRICULTURAL MICROBIOLOGY - University credits: 6
Laboratories: 48 hours
Lessons: 24 hours
Professor: Cavalca Lucia
By appointment
DEFENS-Environmental Microbiology, Via Mangiagalli 25, 3rd floor
Every day (phone or e-mail appointment)
Office at Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
Thursday 10:30 to 12:30 am