Secondary metabolism and metabolic engineering (2020/2021)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Luca Dall'Osto
Luca Dall'Osto
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
II semestre dal Mar 1, 2021 al Jun 11, 2021.

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

The course covers the main groups of secondary metabolites of plants and micro-organisms from a biochemical and biosynthetic perspective, with references to how genetic engineering can be used to manipulate the levels of secondary metabolites of economic value, as well as those of importance to the health and in the human diet. The secondary metabolism course aims to provide an integrated view of some fundamental aspects of secondary metabolism from the relationship between biological functions of secondary metabolites in defense against biotic and abiotic stresses. In particular, the reasons why such a large number of plant secondary metabolites have pharmacological activity will be discussed. The course defines the major classes of secondary metabolites, their biosynthetic pathways, methods for identification of genes coding the steps of biosynthetic pathways, and finally the main approaches for the genetic engeneering of plants and microorganisms to achieve a targeted production of high-value secondary metabolites, including the advantages and disadvantages of the different methods.