General and environmental microbiology

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The objective of the course is to provide basic knowledge on microbial cytology and metabolism, as well as on methodologies to study microorganisms. This information is applied to microbial processes involved in environmental bioremediation, water treatment, biomass transformation and in plant-root interactions.
Expected learning outcomes
The student acquires knowledge on structure and physiology of microbial cells, learns practical skills of basic techniques in bacteriology, understands the importance of microorganisms in ecosystem services.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
The lectures will be delivered remotely on the Microsoft Teams platform. The class access code is available on the Ariel website of the course.
The practical exercises will be carried out at the didactic laboratories of the headquarters in via Mangiagalli 25, first floor. The required sanitary spacing will be guaranteed. If necessary, students will be able to attend practical classes remotely on the Microsoft Teams platform.
The educational trips will be conducted in compliance with the rules of sanitary spacing.
Oral exams will be conducted remotely on the Microsoft Teams platform. The access code is available on the Ariel website of the course.
Course syllabus
Prokaryotic and eukaryotic cell organization. Morphology and cytology of prokaryotes. Spore formation. Microbial taxonomy. Bacterial growth: environmental factors, cultivation of bacteria, sterilization. Methods for the determination of bacterial growth. Microbial nutrition. Microbial metabolism: gaining energy for biosynthetic purposes, aerobic and anaerobic respiration, fermentation, photosynthesis. Regulation of metabolic pathways. Microbial genetics. Environmental microbiology: wastewater treatment, bioremediation. The composting process. Biological nitrogen fixation. Laboratory practical classes are held during the course.
Topics of practical classes: working in sterility, preparation of culture media, use of optical microscope, methods of microbial count, characterization of bacterial strains.
Prerequisites for admission
Good basic knowledge of biology, chemistry and biochemistry.
Teaching methods
Lessons. Practical classes. Educational trips.
Teaching Resources
Lecture notes and videos on the Ariel website of the course.
Practicals notes distributed during practical classes (for attending students only)
Text books:
-B. Biavati e C. Sorlini. Microbiologia Generale e Agraria. Volume unico. 2012. Casa Editrice Ambrosiana.
-M.T. Madigan, J.M. Martinko, K.S. Bender, D.H. Buckley, D.A. Stahl. Brock - Biology of microrganisms. 2016, XIV edition. Ed. Pearson.
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam consists of an oral examination. A written test in the course is proposed to the attending students and it is composed of 10 by-choice answer and 2 open-ended questions. Subsequently the student, from the contents of the written examination, will be subjected to an oral examination on the remaining topics covered in the course. The outcome of the written test is valid until the beginning of the following academic year.
Examination ascertains the student's knowledge about the subject of general microbiology and microbial metabolism in the agro-environmental processes.
The overall mark is expressed in thirtieths, averaging the mark obtained in the oral examination with any mark obtained in the intermediate test. The presentation of a written report concerning the topics carried out in the exercise gives rise to an additional score (between 1 and 3 points expressed in thirtieths).
The language of the course is Italian, but English speaking students can contact the teacher for additional information.
AGR/16 - AGRICULTURAL MICROBIOLOGY - University credits: 6
Laboratories: 16 hours
Lessons: 40 hours
Professor: Cavalca Lucia
By appointment
DEFENS-Environmental Microbiology, Via Mangiagalli 25, 3rd floor