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First Semester 
Teaching style
Lingua Insegnamento

Informazioni aggiuntive

Course Curriculum CFU Length(h)
[60/76]  BIOTECHNOLOGY [76/20 - Ord. 2018]  Farmaceutico 7 60


The course aims to produce graduates of Level I with a solid basic knowledge of the biology of microorganisms, their role in the environment and employment potential in the various fields of research. These skills are indispensable preconditions for further study in specific Magistral and/or professionalizing Master courses.


Adequate knowledge of Organic Chemistry, Cytology and Biochemistry


Class lessons (6 CFU; 48 hours)

Structures and functions in microorganisms. Composition, structure and distinctive elements of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. Structure and function of the cytoplasmic membrane of prokaryotes. The Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria: general characteristics. Structure and synthesis of peptidoglycan. The outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria: lipopolysaccharide and porins. Other types of cell wall in Bacteria. Archea cell wall.

Biogenesis of bacterial outer structures and macromolecules secretion. Sec-dependent and sec-independent secretion systems.

The cytoplasmic organelles. The flagella, pili, fimbriae. The capsule and mucous layers. Microorganisms movement, chemiotaxis. The bacterial endospore: structure and biological significance.

Metabolism, nutrition and growth in prokaryotes. Elementary cell composition, nutritional categories, nutrient assimilation. Growth media. Growth pf the microbial population and determination of microorganism in culture. Factors influencing microbial growth. Control and inhibition of bacterial growth. Antibiotics

Microbial metabolism. Energy useful in biological reactions, biological oxidoreduction. ATP and other high energy compounds. ATP synthesis.

Key aspects of metabolic diversity and microbial nutrition.

Energy from chemical transformations. Chemoorganotrophs: fermentative and respiratory metabolisms, diversity of the organic forms of energy. Chemolithotrophs.
Energy from light. Phototrophs: diversity of Phototroph microorganisms e photosystems; pigments and photosynthetic membranes; chlorophyll and bacteriochlorophyll; anoxygenic and oxygenic photosynthesis (cyanobacteria). Photosynthetic bacteria. Bacteriodopsin end primary protonic pumps.

Assimilation and biosynthesis. Carbon acquisition: heterotrophy and autotrophy. Assimilation of nitrogen, sulfur, phosphorus. Strategies of biosynthetic pathways.

Molecular biology and bacterial genetics. Organization of genetic material in prokaryotes: the bacterial chromosome and accessory elements; the genome of Archea.
Mechanisms of recombination in prokaryotes.
Horizontal genetic transfer: genetic transformation, phage transduction, conjugation.

The process of replication, transcription and translation in bacteria.

The process of cell division in prokaryotes: fts proteins and the divisome. Plasmid segregation. Prokaryotic differentiation. Differentiation in Caulobacter crescentus.

Elements of Virology.
General characteristics, structure and classification of animal and bacterial viruses.
Replication of virulent and temperate bacteriophages; replication cycles of phages T4, fx174, M13, MS2, lambda. Bacterial immunity and CRISPR-cas system.
Models of replication of animal DNA and RNA viruses: poxvirus, herpes simplex virus, poliovirus, influenza virus, retrovirus. Viroid e prions.

Elements of eukaryotic microorganisms: protozoa, algae, fungi and yeasts.

Microbial evolution: the early Earth and the origin of life. Endosymbiosis.
Laboratory (1 CFU, 12 hours)

Principles for the cultivation of bacteria and viruses in the laboratory. Gram staining. Quantitation of bacterial cells. Biochemical tests and bacterial identification.

Teaching Methods

The course is organized in class lectures and laboratory practices.

Verification of learning

The final evaluation is an oral exam that takes into account several factors:
Quality of the knowledge, skills, competences showed:
a) appropriateness, accuracy and consistency of knowledge
b) appropriateness, accuracy and consistency of skills
c) appropriateness, accuracy and consistency of skills
Exhibition mode:
a) Capacity of expression;
b) Proper use of the specific language of the discipline;
c) Logical ability also in the consequential fitting of the contents;
e) Ability to connect different subjects by finding the common points and establish a consistent overall design;
f) Ability to summarize through the use of symbolism on the matter, and including the graphic expression of ideas and concepts, for example scheme of biological processes and structures.
Relational qualities:
Ability to talk and interact with the teacher during the interview.
Personal qualities:
a) critical spirit;
b) ability to self-evaluation.

Consequently, the judgment can be:
a) Fair (18 to 20/30)
The candidate demonstrates little knowledge acquired, superficial level, many gaps. Expressive abilities modest, but still sufficient to support a coherent dialogue, logical and consequential in the fitting of the subjects of the elementary level; poor capacity for synthesis and ability to graphic expression rather stunted, lack of interaction with the examiner.
b) Moderate (21 to 23)
The applicant demonstrates a discreet acquisition of knowledge but lack of depth, a few gaps; expressive abilities more than sufficient to support a coherent dialogue; acceptable mastery of the language of science, logical and consequential in the fitting of the arguments of moderate complexity, more than enough capacity for synthesis and ability to graphic expression acceptable.
c) Good (24 to 26)
The candidate demonstrates knowledge rather large, moderate depth, with few gaps; satisfactory mastery of the expressive capabilities and significant scientific language; critical ability, good capacity for synthesis and ability to graphic expression more than acceptable.
d) Outstanding (27 to 29)
The candidate demonstrates a wealth of notions very extensive, well depth, with marginal gaps; remarkable powers of expression and high mastery of scientific language; remarkable dialogue capacity, good competence and relevant aptitude for logic synthesis, high capacity for synthesis and graphic expression.
e) Excellent (30)
The candidate demonstrates a wealth of very extensive and in-depth knowledge, gaps irrelevant, high capacity and high mastery of the expressive language of science; excellent ability dialogical aptitude to make connections between different subjects, excellent ability to synthesize and very familiar with the expression graphics.
The praise is attributed to the candidates clearly above average, and whose notional limits, if any, expressive, conceptual, logical, as a whole are completely irrelevant.


Gianni Dehò Enrica Galli; Biologia dei microrganismi, III edizione, Zanichelli

Madigan MT, Martinko JM, Parker J. BROCK: BIOLOGIA DEI MICRORGANISMI. 14th Edition. Casa Editrice Ambrosiana

More Information

The lectures are conducted by the teacher with the support of slides illustrative of structures, processes, mechanisms.
The laboratory classes are organized so that each student can physically carry out experimental experiences, and are preceded and followed by presentation of the teacher and group discussion in the classroom with the support of slides illustrative of the experiences in the laboratory, also in the light of their advantages and limits compared to other procedures in use in the microbiology laboratories.

Questionnaire and social

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