Metabolic engineering for the production of high value products (2020/2021)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Matteo Ballottari
Matteo Ballottari
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 aims to provide students with the basic principles of metabolism and its regulation. Therefore, basic and advanced biotechnological techniques to modify the metabolism in different organisms of interest, prokaryotes and eukaryotes will be addressed, in order to direct existing metabolic pathways towards the production of products of interest and / or introduce new metabolic pathways. Particular emphasis will be given to those metabolic pathways that fit into the sustainable exploitation of bio-resources for approaches based on circular economy. Finally, biotechnological applications will be described for the production of high added value compounds such as antioxidants, food supplements, nutraceuticals, pigments, terpenoids, bioplastics, nanocomposites, heterologous proteins and other molecules of interest.


Review of Cellular Metabolism
The Essence of Metabolic Engineering
Material and Energy Balances in metabolic reactions
Regulation of Metabolic Pathways
Comprehensive Models for Cellular Reactions
Metabolic Flux Analysis
Principles of Synthetic Biology
Metabolic pathways and their manipulation to produce flavonoids, alkaloids, terpenoids and hydrocarbons
Metabolic pathways and their manipulation to produce antioxidants, nutraceutics and food additives
Genetic engineering to produce recombinant proteins
Biotechnological tool to produce bioplastics
Examples of Pathway Manipulations: Metabolic Engineering in Practice

Assessment methods and criteria

During the exam the student will be evaluated for knowledge of the basics of metabolic engineering and the application of innovative biotechnological techniques for the production of high value added compounds. The exam will be written, with open questions and some closed questions, followed by a possible optional oral exam.