Industrial microbial biotechnology (2019/2020)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Silvia Lampis
Silvia Lampis
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
I semestre dal Oct 1, 2019 al Jan 31, 2020.

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

The course aims to provife the theoretical knowledge and the up to date view of the technological applications regarding microbial transformation processes in industrial and environmental fields, focused on the obtainment of high-value products and processes based on either the use of renewable substrates and eco-friendly approaches or bioremediation protocols of polluted matrices. In particular, attention will be given to metabolic and molecular aspects related to the exploitation of microorganisms for i) the biotransformation of main polymeric components of plant biomasses: ii) the industrial production of aminoacids, organic acids, antibiotics, bioinsecticides and other primary or secondary metabolites; iii) the obtainment of bio-catalysts of microbial origin for chemo-enzymatic transformations; iv) biodegradation and biotransformation of either inorganic or organic polluted substances; v) the microbial biosynthesis of nanostructured materials of metals and metalloids of nano-biotechnological interest; vi) production of energy, hydrogen and other products by means of the Bioelectrochemical Systems (BES) such as the Microbial Fuel cells (MFCs) or the Microbial Electrolysis Cells (MECs).


- Introduction
Description of the course organization and details about the topics of the lectures and assessment methods. The crucial role of microbial biotechnology in the bioeconomy
- Microbial transformation of plant biomasses
Microbial biotechnologies for the transformation of the main polymeric components of plant biomasses
- Compounds production of microbial origin
Microbial biotechnologies for the production of aminoacids, organic acids, antibiotics. Microorganisms applied to agriculture.
-Microbial Enzymes for industrail applications
- Microbial degradation of xenobiotic compounds of environmental interest
Microbial degradation of linear and branched hydrocarbons. Microbial degradation of aromatic compounds. Microbial transformation of haloaromatic compounds through dehalogenation. Genetics of the catabolic pathways for the organic contaminants degradation.
- Microbial transformation of inorganic compounds of environmental interest (metals and metalloids)
Microbial transformation of metals and metalloids. Reduction/oxidation mechanisms of inorganic compounds and the importance for the bioremediation. Microbial sinthesys of metal nanostructured compounds for nanobiotechnological applications.
- Microbial biotechnologies for the production of electricity and biogas
Production of electricity, hydrogen and other products of commercial value though bioelectrochemical systems (BES) such as Microbial Fuel cells (MFCs) or Microbial Electrolysis Cells (MECs). Basic informations regarding bacterial biogas production.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Michael Madigan, John Martinko, Kelly Bender, Daniel Buckley, David Stahl BROCK Biologia dei microrganismi - Microbiologia generale, ambientale e industriale (Edizione 1) Pearson Italia 2016 889190094X
Alexander N. Glazer, Hiroshi Nikaido Microbial Biotechnology - Fundamentals of Applied Microbiology (Edizione 2) Cambridge University Press 2007 9780521842105

Assessment methods and criteria

The exam is aimed at verifying the acquisition by the student of the Knowledge and abilities defined in the 'learning outcomes' of the course. The exam is written, with open and closed questions. The duration is of 2 hours. The written exam can be integrated, upon student’s request, with an oral exam.