65820 - Microbiology and Molecular Virology

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

The Course (6 CFU) generates the following learning outcomes: - Molecular aspects involved in cell-cell and cell-environment interaction (Quorum Sensing); - Molecular steps in microbial biofilm formation; - Biochemical and molecular aspects in microbial bioconversion of toxic compounds and bioprocessing of metal and metalloids; - Microbial generation of biofuels; - Microbial genomics and bioinformatics; - Molecular aspects of the interaction virus-host; -Viral strategies re-addressing cellular functions to complete the viral replicative-cycle; - Main procedures to construct recombinant viruses; - Evaluation in the use of recombination mediated genetic engineering (recombineering) in the construction of recombinant viruses.

Course contents

Lessons of molecular microbiology (frontal lessons, 3 CFU equal to 24 hr in total):

- Applied and molecular aspects of biofilm generation;

- Molecular aspects of cell-cell and cell-environment interaction (Quorum Sensing);

- Bacterial genome plasticity;

- Cyclic di-GMP in signal transduction;

- Bacterial degradation of xenobiotics;

- Bacterial metal/metalloids interaction;

- Molecular methods for microbial community characterization;

- Fundamentals of microbial genomics and bioinformatics.

Lessons of molecular Virology (1 CFU of frontal lesson equal to 8 hr + 2 CFU of lab activity equal to 38 hr):

- Introduction to viruses genetic content (1 hour);

- Molecular basis of virus-host interaction (2 hours);

- Comparative analysis of the possibility to use different viruses to modify cellular functions (2 hours);

- Analysis of available techniques used to generate recombinant viruses (1hour);

- Recombineering: theory and applications (2 hours);

- Recombineering: an experimental approach (30 hours)

Readings/Bibliography

No specific text-books are required. The material used can be obtained on-line in the form of scientific reviews and/or specific publications in ISI journals. Alternatively, the material will be given to students as printed papers or it will be inserted on-line at the web site https://iol.unibo.it

Teaching methods

The Course consists of 6 CFU in total (4 CFU equal to 30 hr of frontal lessons and 2 CFU of laboratory practice). This latter lab activity will be performed at the BioTech Labs (Navile, via Beverara Bologna) having single bench working-positions and biohazard-hoods. The aim of this lab practice is the following: a) to get use with laboratory instrumentations of microbiology and virology; b) to get enough skilfull to handle biological specimens under safety conditions; c) to reach the learning outcomes  

Assessment methods

The aim of the final Course examination is to reach the following learning outcomes: molecular aspects involved in cell-cell and cell-environment interaction (Quorum Sensing); the role of c-di-GMP in cellular signal transduction and in the microbial biofilm formation; biochemical and molecular aspects in microbial bioprocessing of metal and metalloids and microbial bioconversion of toxic compounds; molecular methods for the characterization of microbial communities and the fundamentals for microbial genomics study and phylogenetic analysis; molecular aspects of the interaction virus-host; viral strategies re-addressing cellular functions to complete the viral replicative cycle; main procedures to construct recombinant viruses; evaluation of the use of recombination mediated genetic engineering (recombineering) in the construction of recombinant viruses.

The final Course examination consists of a written test of molecular virology plus lab-questions integrated with a written exam in molecular microbiology. The final mark will come out by the average of the marks obtained in both written exams.

Teaching tools

Didactic material: material used for frontal lessons will be given to students in digital format. Frontal lessons consist in power-point presentations on specific topics of research. Relevant references are available as on-line material

Office hours

See the website of Renato Brandimarti

See the website of Martina Cappelletti