85292 - Prokaryotic Genomes

Course Unit Page


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

Good health and well-being Affordable and clean energy Sustainable cities Life on land

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module the student has knowledge of the main approaches for genomic data analysis and annotation in prokaryotes, with an emphasis on the use of next generation sequencing for the functional and structural analysis of genomes. In particular the student is able to: understand the structure of genetic variability and its phenotypic effects, browse prokaryotic genomes, apply methods for genomic data analysis, and correctly interpret and plan genomic studies in bacteria.

Course contents

The Prokaryotic Genomes course (Module1+Module2) will focus on the following topics:

  • Introduction to Prokaryotes: the prokaryotic cell and microbial growth
  • Diversity of Prokaryotic World: bacterial and archeal taxonomy and phylogeny, the tree of life, molecular chronometers and phylogenetic tree, diversity based on nutrition, metabolism and physiology
  • Prokaryotic genomes and plasticity: genome structure and partitioning, bacterial plasmids and transposable elements, Genomic Islands, core genomes VS accessory genomes, bacterial conjugation, transduction and transformation, recombination
  • Principles of mutagenesis, epigenetics and antimicrobial-drug resistance
  • Genome sequencing: Genome sequencing technologies, Genome Reconstruction/assembly, Genome Annotation
  • Comparative genomics of Prokaryotes and Microbial Genome Databases
  • Functional Genomics: Transcriptomics (RNA-seq and Microarray)
  • Introduction to CRISPR: the prokaryotic Adaptive Immune System and the genome editing tool


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.

Teaching methods

Topics in this course will be presented using lectures, discussions and group works.

Assessment methods

The final Course examination consists of a written (short-answer, long-answer and multiple-choice questions) and an oral test.

Teaching tools

Lectures will be given with power-point presentations. Reviews and research publications relevant to the topics of the course will be provided at the end of each lesson along with additional teaching materials. Online open sourced video’s may also be assigned to complement the lectures.

Office hours

See the website of Martina Cappelletti

See the website of Marco Rinaldo Oggioni