96028 - Microbial Genetics and Molecular Virology

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 Life on land

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, the student has the understanding of the genetic, epigenetic and genomic mechanisms governing microbial physiology in a changing environment which includes selective pressure by antibiotics, vaccines, pollution and climate. Additionally, the molecular basis of the virus-host interaction will be discussed. The laboratory activity is intended to familiarize with molecular approaches to generate recombinant organisms, and to assess the impact of viral activity on the host’s metabolism.

Course contents

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

  • Molecular and cellular aspects of host-microbe interaction during infection
  • Genomics of microbial virulence
  • Applied and molecular aspects of epigenetic gene regulation in bacteria
  • Microbial genome plasticity and antimicrobial drug resistance
  • Genomic tools in microbial taxonomy and epidemiology

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

  • Introduction to viral genetics (1 hour);
  • Molecular basis of virus-host interaction (2 hours);
  • Comparative analysis of the possibility to exploit 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)


  • 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 [http://campus.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 used with laboratory instrumentations commonly used in microbiology and virology fields; b) to get technical skills 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 learning outcomes described above and to be able to understand and discuss the specific topics listed in the course content.
    The final Course examination consists of two written exams, one regarding the topics covered during the molecular microbiology course and the other on molecular virology plus lab-questions. 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.
  • Scientific research papers and reviews as well as online resources will be made available to get deep into specific topics explained during the course.

Office hours

See the website of Renato Brandimarti

See the website of Marco Rinaldo Oggioni