79439 - Biotechnology Of Plant Probiotics

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Marco Bosco

  • Credits 3

  • SSD AGR/16

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language English

  • Campus of Bologna

  • Degree Programme Second cycle degree programme (LM) in International Horticultural Science (cod. 8883)

  • Teaching resources on Virtuale

  • Course Timetable from Feb 23, 2022 to May 25, 2022


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

Zero hunger Quality education Responsible consumption and production Life on land

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The course will provide the essential knowledge about the methods, application and the state of the art of plant and microbial biotechnologies including breeding for enhancing plant characteristics and fitness. A special focus will be paid on how plant-microbe interactions increase plant productivity, resistance and resilience to external stimuli Key concepts of plant holobiont, plant probiotic microorganisms and microbial biotechnologies will be introduced. This knowledge will provide to the students a scientific roadmap and the ability to exploit natural microbial resources for breeding sustainable varieties, reducing agrochemicals, decreasing the cost and improving the quality of horticultural crops.

Course contents

Essential requirements: students should hold propedeutical knowledge from almost 6 UFC of general microbiology.
They should know the biology and physiology of plants, agronomy, pedology, biological and agricultural chemistry,
and be familiar with chemical and biological laboratory practices. Students must know well the English oral and written
language, as all teaching activities are given in English, including readings and teacher's handouts published on the Unibo
IOL webpage.

Eventual gaps in microbiology should be promptly declared by e-mail, in order to obtain supplementary teaching materials.

[Expected results: the student will know holobionts, coevolution, plant probiotic microorganisms and microbial biotechnologies, the role of microorganisms in plant productivity, resistance and resilience. She/he will be able to manage plant-probiotics, in nursery and open field, to select plants on the basis of rhizosphere competence and to project new applications. She/he will be able to exchange microbiological data in scientific and technical ways adapted to the horticultural sector].
The course is designed to introduce master students in theoretical knowledge about the largely untapped approach that takes into account the rhizosphere competence of plants in the breeding procedures for crops.
Plant-probiotic microbial functions, those which render plants adapted for the terrestrial environment, will be dissected, as well as rhizosphere microbial biotechnologies for sustainable plant breeding and probiotic inoculants production and applications.


"Bacteria in Agrobiology: Plant Probiotics". Dinesh K. Maheshwari (Editor) Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, 2012.
ISBN 978-3-642-27514-2 ISBN 978-3-642-27515-9 (eBook)
DOI 10.1007/978-3-642-27515-9

Principles and Applications of Soil Microbiology”. Sylvia, Fuhrmann, Hartel, Zuberer. Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, N.J., 1998.

"Working with mycorrhizas in forestry and agriculture" Brundrett et al. 2008.

• For some topics and for laboratory practice, additional materials would be accessible on the University of Bologna platform Virtuale [https://virtuale.unibo.it/?lang=en] for students enrolled in the presnt course. Such materials should be downloaded or printed for use during the lessons.

Teaching methods

This lecture is given at the Bologna site, by professor's powerpoint presentations, eventually integrated by specialists' seminars and technical visits.

Students with Learning Disorders or Disabilities are kindly invited to contact the specific Service and/or the professor, with adequate advance notice.

The lecture is composed by two units: the first is given by powerpoint presentations including examples and the relative scientific logics, with the aim to stimulating student's critical learning.

The second provides some laboratory experiences or collective analyses on case-studies, intended to deepen students' knowledge, experimental design on biotechnology of plant-probiotic microorganisms, or sampling and analytical methods.

Assessment methods

Achieved theoretical learning is assessed by a final exam, after the end of lecture schedule. It consists of an oral exam performed by the teacher, generally composed of three principal questions, and eventual other deeping/clarifying questions. The lenght of oral exam is generally about 30 minutes.

Students should demonstrate to know the theory and to be able to link lecture topics with technical problems of microbial biotechnology. Practical aspects of field- and benchwork will not be considered for exam final note.

Each question is evaluated a maximum of 30 points. Final note will be calculated by the mean of the three questions.

Students with Learning Disorders or Disabilities are kindly invited to contact the specific Service and/or the teacher, with an appropriate advance notice.

Teaching tools

Internet-connected PC, video projector, overhead projector, slide projector, white board.
Teaching laboratory instruments, teaching greenhouse.

Links to further information


Office hours

See the website of Marco Bosco