General microbiology

A.Y. 2019/2020
9
Max ECTS
80
Overall hours
SSD
BIO/19
Language
Italian
Learning objectives
The aim of the course is to illustrate the structure and the function of the prokaryotic cell and the mechanisms underlying genetic variability and adaptation to environmental stimuli. The laboratory module will introduce the student to basic microbiology techniques and will assess basic notions of microbial physiology.
Expected learning outcomes
After following this course, the student will acquire a good knowledge of:
- the structure and physiology of prokaryotic cells
- the mechanisms of transfer and regulation of bacterial genes
- the conditions affecting growth of prokaryotes and the tools for monitoring growth
- main antibiotics and their mode of action
- general features and replication strategies of viruses and bacteriophages.

Moreover, thanks to the attendance at the laboratory module, the student will be able to:
- set-up pure bacterial cultures and monitor their growth
- identify, describe and distinguish Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria
- identify and describe a bacterial spore.
Course syllabus and organization

A - L

Responsible
Lesson period
Second semester
Course syllabus
Structure and function of microbial cells
Comparison among cells of Eukaryotes, Bacteria and Archaea.
Morphological features of main microbial groups.
Capsule. Cell wall.
Cytoplasmic membrane. Pili and flagella.
The nucleoid. Structure and organization of the chromosome.
Cytoplasm. Ribosomes and polysomes. Cytoplasmic inclusions.
Endospores.

Microbial growth and its control (see also the laboratory module)
Media and growth conditions. Pure cultures. Growth inhibition. Antibiotics: structure and mode of action, minimal inhibiting concentration, mechanisms of resistance.

Metabolism: metabolic, physiological and ecological characteristics of the principal microbial groups.
Central metabolism and biosynthetic reactions.
Energy metabolism: Fermentation, aerobic and anaerobic respiration, chemiolithotropy, phototrophy.
Assimilation of C: autotrophy and heterotrophy. Assimilation of N. Nitrogen fixation. Assimilation of S and P. Regulation of biosynthetic pathways at enzyme level. Allosteric enzymes.

Microbial Genetics
Mutations. Selection and screening of mutants.
Mechanisms of genetic transfer. Transformation. Plasmids: General properties. Replication and partitioning. Conjugation.
Bacterial viruses (Bacteriophages): Lytic cycle. Lysogenic cycle. Control of lysogeny. Generalized and specialized transduction. Recombination. Evolutionary implications
Animal viruses: structure, main infection and propagation mechanisms..
Transposable elements: structure and properties. Mechanisms of transpositions.

Regulation of gene expression
Strategies and levels of regulation.
Positive and negative regulation of transcription initiation.
Regulation of transcription termination. Attenuation (trp operon).
Genome structure (DNA topology and genome rearrangements).
Regulatory networks. Catabolite repression. Stringent response. Alarmones.

Interactions of prokaryotes with other organisms
Interactions between bacteria: the cooperative processes. Quorum Sensing. The microbial associations: biofilms.

An outline of microorganism-eukaryotic host interactions.


LABORATORY MODULE
The laboratory is an integral and mandatory part of the course.

The methods of microbiology
Methods of sterilization. Pure cultures.
Growth media. Influence of nutritional requirements, temperature, pH, oxygen, light.
Growth, enrichment and selection of microorganisms.
β-galactosidase activity assay
Microscopy. Staining techniques
Prerequisites for admission
The student should have basic knowledge of Organic chemistry, Biological chemistry, Genetics and Molecular biology.
Teaching methods
Interactive lectures supported by projected material. The student will be fully involved in the discussion. The laboratory program includes experiments supporting the theoretical notions presented during the lectures.
Attendance at the lectures is highly recommended. Attendance at the laboratory is mandatory.
Teaching Resources
Dehò, G., Galli, E. Biologia dei microrganismi. Terza edizione, Casa Editrice Ambrosiana. A textbook in English will be recommended upon student's request.
Copies of the slides shown during the lectures will be made available through the course website on the ARIEL platform of the University of Milan
Assessment methods and Criteria
The evaluation of the student's performance is based on a written examination consisting of 30 multiple choice and 3-4 open-ended questions that will account for 1/3 and 2/3, respectively, of the overall evaluation of the examination. To pass the exam the students are required to answer correctly to 21 multiple choice questions and to reach an overall evaluation ≥ 18/30.
BIO/19 - MICROBIOLOGY - University credits: 9
Practicals: 16 hours
Lessons: 64 hours
Professor: Briani Federica

M - Z

Responsible
Lesson period
Second semester
Course syllabus
[Program with reference to descriptor 1 and 2]:
Structure and function of microbial cells
Comparison among cells of Eukaryotes, Bacteria and Archaea.
Morphological features of main microbial groups.
Capsule. Cell wall.
Cytoplasmic membrane. Pili and flagella.
The nucleoid. Structure and organization of the chromosome.
Cytoplasm. Ribosomes and polysomes. Cytoplasmic inclusions.
Endospores.

Microbial growth and its control (see also the laboratory module)
Media and growth conditions. Pure cultures. Growth inhibition. Antibiotics: structure and mode of action, minimal inhibiting concentration, mechanisms of resistance.

Metabolism: metabolic, physiological and ecological characteristics of the principal microbial groups.
Central metabolism and biosynthetic reactions.
Energy metabolism: Fermentation, aerobic and anaerobic respiration, chemiolithotropy, phototrophy.
Assimilation of C: autotrophy and heterotrophy. Assimilation of N. Nitrogen fixation. Assimilation of S and P. Regulation of biosynthetic pathways at enzyme level. Allosteric enzymes.

Microbial Genetics
Mutations. Selection and screening of mutants.
Mechanisms of genetic transfer. Transformation. Plasmids: General properties. Replication and partitioning. Conjugation.
Bacterial viruses (Bacteriophages): Lytic cycle. Lysogenic cycle. Control of lysogeny. Generalized and specialized transduction. Recombination. Evolutionary implications
Animal viruses: structure, main infection and propagation mechanisms..
Transposable elements: structure and properties. Mechanisms of transpositions.

Regulation of gene expression
Strategies and levels of regulation.
Positive and negative regulation of transcription initiation.
Regulation of transcription termination. Attenuation (trp operon).
Genome structure (DNA topology and genome rearrangements).
Regulatory networks. Catabolite repression. Stringent response. Alarmones.

Interactions of prokaryotes with other organisms
Interactions between bacteria: the cooperative processes. Quorum Sensing. The microbial associations: biofilms.

An outline of microorganism-eukaryotic host interactions: interactions bacteria-animal organisms; beneficial and harmful interactions of bacteria with plant organisms

LABORATORY MODULE
The laboratory is an integral and mandatory part of the course.

The methods of microbiology
Methods of sterilization. Pure cultures.
Growth media. Influence of nutritional requirements, temperature, pH, oxygen, light.
Growth, enrichment and selection of microorganisms.
β-galactosidase activity assay
Microscopy. Staining techniques
Prerequisites for admission
The student should have basic knowledge of Organic chemistry, Biological chemistry, Genetics and Molecular biology.
Teaching methods
Teaching mode: interactive lectures supported by projected material. The student will be fully involved in the discussion. The laboratory program includes experiments supporting the theoretical notions presented during the lectures.
Attendance at the lectures is highly recommended. Attendance at the laboratory is mandatory.
Teaching Resources
Dehò, G., Galli, E. Biologia dei microrganismi. Terza edizione, Casa Editrice Ambrosiana.
Le presentazioni mostrate a lezione saranno disponibili sul sito Ariel del docente.
Assessment methods and Criteria
The evaluation of the student's performance is based on a written examination consisting of 30 multiple choice and 3-4 open-ended questions that will account for 1/3 and 2/3, respectively, of the overall evaluation of the examination. To pass the exam the students are required to answer correctly to 21 multiple choice questions and to reach an overall evaluation ≥ 18/30.
BIO/19 - MICROBIOLOGY - University credits: 9
Practicals: 16 hours
Lessons: 64 hours
Professor: Bertoni Giovanni
Shifts:
Professor: Bertoni Giovanni
Turno 1
Professor: Bertoni Giovanni
Turno 2
Professor: Bertoni Giovanni
Professor(s)
Reception:
Every day from 9 am to 6 pm, by appointment
4th floor tower B, Dept. of Biosciences - via Celoria 26
Reception:
wednesday 15:30-16:30
4° floor, tower C