General microbiology

A.Y. 2020/2021
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
Teaching method: Learning activities will be provided remotely through a combination of asynchronous and synchronous lessons. Recordings of synchronous lessons and, for asynchronous lessons, short recordings of the teacher's desktop with audio commentary will be made available on the Ariel pages of the course. In addition, in correspondence with the asynchronous lessons, the teacher will be available in chat on the Microsoft Teams platform for clarification relating to the content of the lessons. Practicals will be carried out in mixed mode, with an afternoon in the presence (in laboratory) and the remaining 3 lectures remotely in sync on Microsoft Teams. How to register for practicals will be published in time on the Ariel pages of the course, as well as the notices relating to any update related to the evolution of the legislation imposed by Covid-19.

Reference materials: The program and the reference material will not change.

Verification of learning and evaluation criteria: The remote exams that may be imposed by the Covid-19 emergency will be conducted entirely orally on the Microsoft Teams platform and will consist of 4-5 questions about the topics covered during the lessons.
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 3 parts: i) 30 multiple choice questions (24 points max); ii) design and analysis of a growth curve (4 points max); iii) recognition of 4/5 images schematically representing molecules/structures/pathways presented during the course (2 points ); 1 question (1 point) about the lab, To pass the exam the students are required to answer correctly to 20 multiple choice questions and to reach an overall evaluation ≥ 18/30. Students with an overall evaluation ≥ 26/30 can, if they wish, do an integrative oral exam (+/- 3 points max).
BIO/19 - MICROBIOLOGY - University credits: 9
Practicals: 16 hours
Lessons: 64 hours
Shifts:
Professor: Briani Federica
Turno 1
Professor: Briani Federica
Turno 2
Professor: Landini Paolo

M - Z

Responsible
Lesson period
Second semester
Teaching methods:
The lessons will be held on the Teams platform and can be followed both synchronously based on the first-semester timetable and asynchronously as they will be recorded and left available to students on the Teams and Ariel platforms.

Program and reference material:
The program and the reference material will not change.

Verification of learning and evaluation criteria:
The exam consists of a written test to be carried out with the use of the Moodle platform according to the methods illustrated on the university portal, both in the presence and at a distance. The exam consists of a part with 30 multiple choice questions and 3-4 open questions that will weigh 1/3 and 2/3 respectively for the overall assessment of the exam. The exam will be passed by correctly answering at least 20 multiple choice questions and reaching an overall assessment of 18/30.
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 20 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
on-line via Teams platform
Reception:
wednesday 15:30-16:30 on appointment required by e-mail
4° floor, tower C. Because of the current pandemic, a remote meeting will be scheduled
Reception:
Thursdays 15.30-16.30
Via Celoria 26, Scientific buildings, 4th floor, Tower "B"