Food and Microbial Biotechnology

Academic Year 2022/2023 - Teacher: Cinzia CAGGIA

Expected Learning Outcomes

Possess adequate knowledge to conduct laboratory activities that use molecular methodologies in the agro-industrial field. At the end of the course the student will be able to interpret the results obtained from the experiments. The jujment autonomy and communication skills will be stimulated through the drafting and presentation of a laboratory report.

Course Structure

The teaching includes 28 hours of frontal (or remote) lessons and 28 hours of exercises.

Teaching could be carried out in a mixed mode, also remotely, if required changes could be introduced with respect to previous statements, in line with the planned programme. 

The planned activities concern practical exercises, laboratory tests, guided tours, in-depth seminars, group work. If the teaching is given in a mixed or remote way, the necessary changes with respect to what has been declared may be introduced, in order to comply with the planned program.

To guarantee equal opportunities and in compliance with the laws in force, interested students can ask for a personal interview in order to plan any compensatory and / or dispensatory measures, based on the didactic objectives and specific needs. For this purpose, it is also possible to contact the CInAP (Center for Active and Participatory Inclusion - Services for Disabilities and / or SLDs) of our Department, Prof. Giovanna Tropea Garzia and Prof. Anna De Angelis.

Required Prerequisites

Even if there are no prerequisites, the knowledge of the biology of microorganisms is considered "useful" to better understand the contents of the teaching.

Attendance of Lessons

91 / 5.000

Risultati della traduzione

Strongly recommended. Attendance to lessons is not mandatory for the exam.

Detailed Course Content

Microorganisms of biotechnological interest. Microorganisms as a "cell factory" for the production of goods and services. Research and development in industrial processes screening and optimization of production processes. Production of antibiotics and amino acids. Environmental issues and applications of microorganisms to protect the environment. Genetic improvement of microorganisms used in the food industry. Development of microbial starters for the optimization of food fermentation.  Basic concepts of bacterial genetics and effects of recent discoveries on the development of biotechnology.

Textbook Information

Testo 1 Brock – Biologia dei Microrganismi –Microbiologia generale, ambientale e industriale -  Ed Pearson  

Testo 2 Glick BR, Pasternak JJ. - Biotecnologia Molecolare- Principi e applicazioni del DNA ricombinante- Ed Zanichelli

Testo 3 Donadio S, Marino G. Biotecnologie Microbiche – Ed CEA

Testo 4. Manzoni M, Microbiologia Industriale – Ed. CEA

Course Planning

 SubjectsText References
1La genetica batterica e le biotecnologie. I microrganismi come fattorie cellulari.Materiale fornito dal docente Testo 1
2Esempi di impiego dei microrganismi nelle biotecnologie. Materiale fornito dal docente Testo 2
3Definizione di microrganismo. La tassonomia microbica. Materiale fornito dal docente. Qualsiasi testo di Biologia Generale
4La cellula procariotica ed eucariotica. La diversita’ microbica come risorsa.Materiale fornito dal docente Qualsiasi testo di Biologia Generale
5L'albero filogenetico. Lo studio del DNA per la classificazione dei batteri. Materiale fornito dal docente
6*L'esperimento di Griffith e la trasformazione battericaMateriale fornito dal docente Testo 1
7La variabilita' genetica. Le mutazioni. Test di Ames. Test delle fluttuazioniMateriale fornito dal docente
8Replica plating. Mutazioni, mutageni e mutanti.Materiale fornito dal docente Testo 2
9La variablita' genetica. Fenomeni di trasposizione del DNA.Materiale fornito dal docente
10Coniugazione, trasformazione e trasduzione nei batteri.Materiale fornito dal docente Testo 1
11Controllo dell'espressione genica. Gli operoni. L'operone lattosio e l'operone triptofano in Escherichia coli.Materiale fornito dal docente Testo 1
12I lieviti e il loro impiego nelle biotecnologieMateriale fornito dal docente Testo 1
13Saccharomyces cerevisiaeMateriale fornito dal docente Testo 1
14Omotallismo ed eterotallismo nei lievitiMateriale fornito dal docente Testo 1
15Esercitazioni in laboratorio

Learning Assessment

Learning Assessment Procedures

Verification of learning takes place through an interview that may include the presentation and discussion of a technical, group work. The relevance of the answers with respect to the questions asked, the quality of the contents, the ability to connect between program topics, the ability to report examples, the technical language properties and the overall expressive ability of the student are assessed. Verification of learning can also be carried out electronically, should the conditions require it.

The assessment of learning of the course takes place through oral examinations.

The student's preparation will be evaluated based on the following criteria: level of knowledge and deepening of the topics, properties of language and exposure, and reasoning skills developed by the student.

The final mark will be the average of the votes obtained in the single module, according to the following structure:


Topic knowledge and understanding: Significant deficiencies.

Significant inaccuracies

Analysis and synthesis skills: Irrelevant. Frequent generalizations. Inability to synthesize

Using references: Completely inappropriate



Topic knowledge and understanding: Threshold level. Obvious imperfections

Analysis and synthesis skills: Barely sufficient capacity

Using references: Just appropriate



Topic knowledge and understanding: Routine knowledge

Analysis and synthesis skills: capacity of correct analysis and synthesis. Argues logically and coherently

Using references: Use standard references



Topic knowledge and understanding: Good knowledge

Analysis and synthesis skills: Has good analytical and synthesis skills. Topics are expressed coherently

Using references: Use standard references



Topic knowledge and understanding: Detectable neat knowledge

Analysis and synthesis skills: Has remarkable analytical and synthesis skills

Using references: Has delved into the topics



Topic knowledge and understanding: Evident general knowledge

Analysis and synthesis skills: Has remarkable analytical and synthesis skills

Using references: Significant insights


Examples of frequently asked questions and / or exercises

The exam consists of an oral test on the main mechanisms of genetic engineering. The oral exam is individual and involves the verification of the ability to reason and connect between the topics of the program and between the two modules of the integrated course.