cod. 1001269

Academic year 2023/24
2° year of course - Second semester
- Francesca TURRONI
Academic discipline
Microbiologia generale (BIO/19)
Discipline biomolecolari
Type of training activity
72 hours
of face-to-face activities
9 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

Provide the basic knowledge of microorganisms and related phenomena, as an aid to understanding the living world. Provide an understanding of the main features of prokaryotic cells.


Have sufficient knowledge of general biology and biochemistry .

Course unit content

Biology of microorganisms as agents of infection and their unique characteristics .

Full programme

1) Introduction to Microbiology
- Microbiology
- The three Domain of Life: Bacteria, Archaea, Eukarya
- Prokaryotic and eukaryotic cell characteristics and differences
- Structures and dimension of prokaryotic cells
- Microorganisms and their natural environments
- The impact of microorganism on humans and environment
- The history of Microbiology
2) Macromolecules
- Simple carbohydrates and complex polysaccharides
- Lipids
- Nucleic acids
- Amino acids and peptide bond
- Proteins and chaperones
3) Cell structure and functions
- Cell morphology and microscopic analysis
- Cell membranes and cell walls
- Microbial locomotion
- Surface structures and inclusion of prokaryotes
4) Nutrition, laboratory cultures, and metabolism of microorganisms
- Microbial nutrition, micro- and macro-elements
- The culture: direct and indirect methods for counting microorganisms
- Energetic and enzymes
- Oxidation-reduction reactions and energy-rich compounds
- Major catabolic pathways, electron transport and the proton motive force
- Aerobic and anaerobic respiration and various fermentations
- Catabolic alternatives and biosynthesis
5) Microbial growth
- bacterial cell division
- The growth of a bacterial population: the growth phases
- Environmental effects on microbial growth
6) Essential of molecular biology
- Introduction to genes and gene expression
- DNA structure
- DNA replication
- RNA synthesis
- Protein synthesis
- Regulation of gene expression
- Mechanisms of gene transfer
- Horizontal and vertical genetic transfer
7) Introduction to microbial taxonomy
- Classical and molecular taxonomy
- The use of Bergey’s manual
- Microbial phylogeny
- main bacterial groups
8) Genetics of microorganisms
- Viruses: classification, morphology and main genetic characteristics
- Bacteriophages
- Genomics and functional genomics
9) Probiotic microorganisms
- Probiotics and prebiotics
- The intestinal microbiota


Brock.General Microbiology

Teaching methods

Oral lectures with continual references to the general principles of the practice in the laboratory.

Assessment methods and criteria

Written test

Other information

The course promotes the acquisition of independent judgment , in consideration of previous general knowledge and specific information obtained from suggested textbooks and educational materials provided