66180 - Biotechnology of Fermentations M

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Industrial Chemistry (cod. 0884)

Learning outcomes

The aim of the course is to give the students broad theoretical and practical knowledge in applied microbiology and biotechnology.In particular, the course will give a basic knowledge about prokaryotic and eukaryotic microorganisms and about their use in in areas of major societal importance: medicine, agriculture, synthetic organic chemistry, energy and evironmental. Students will learn the cellular architecture of prokaryotes and eukaryotes, along with basic methodologies for their isolation, growth and genetic manipulation. Finally, a general discussion of fermentative metabolism will be presented, analyzing also the key parameters for a successful fermentation process

Course contents


Students should possess a basic knowledge about general microbiology


The aim of the course is to teach some principles of general and applied microbiology in order to describe the many fields of industrial application of microrganisms. The course also aims to illustrate all the components of a fermentation process, starting from the preparation of the inoculum to the recovery of the final products. Finally, several industrial bioreactors will be described and some examples of microbial fermentations in food, pharmaceutical and chemical industry will be analysed.

Course topics

Cellular architecture of prokaryotes and eukaryotes

Basic methodologies for isolation, growth and genetic manipulation

Growth media

Methods of microbial counting

Sterilization and disinfection

Staining and microscopy analysis

Microbial diversity and its importance in biotechnology


Microbial enzymes in biocatalysis

Microbial genetics and mutagenesis

PCR and gene sequencing

The recombinant DNA technology

Primary and secondary metabolites

Batch, fed-batch and continuous fermentations

Bioreactors types

Examples of industrial fermentations

Downstream processing  


The teaching material presented in class will be available to students via distribution lists teachers-students.


"Brock- Biologia dei Microrganismi volume 1°", di Madigan e Martinko, Casa Editrice Ambrosiana

"Biotecnologie microbiche", di Donadio e Marino, Casa Editrice Ambrosiana

Teaching methods


Assessment methods

The examination test is intended to determine the level of learning achieved by the students and their knowledge in industrial microbiology.

The final exam consists of a compulsory written examination and an oral examination optional on request by each student.

The written test consists of 30 multiple-choice questions and three open-ended questions about different topics covered during the course.

The evaluation gives more importance to the open responses: is assigned a score of 2.5 for each open answer and a score of 0.8 for each correct multiple choices.

It is not allowed to use books or notes during the test.

The test lasts 2 hours.

The final exam, if passed, is valid for one year.

Teaching tools

Lectures and slides

Office hours

See the website of Alessandra Stefan


Good health and well-being Industry, innovation and infrastructure

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.