MICROBIOLOGIA AMBIENTALE APPLICATA

Degree course: 
Corso di Second cycle degree in ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES
Academic year when starting the degree: 
2020/2021
Year: 
1
Academic year in which the course will be held: 
2020/2021
Course type: 
Compulsory subjects, characteristic of the class
Credits: 
6
Period: 
Second semester
Standard lectures hours: 
56
Detail of lecture’s hours: 
Lesson (40 hours), Laboratory (16 hours)
Requirements: 

Knowledge of principles of biology, chemistry and ecology are recommended (but not obligatory). No formal prerequisites are required.

Final oral exam scored out of a maximum of 30 points (with the minimum of 18 points to pass the exam).
The examination will assess: i) adequate knowledge and comprehension of the covered topics showing a critical approach; ii) capability of linking the theoretical aspects covered during the lectures and the practical aspects carried out in the laboratory; iii) clarity of expression of the acquired notions; and iv) ability to use an appropriate scientific language related to the applied environmental microbiology field.

Assessment: 
Voto Finale

Consistently with the professional profiles and the specific aims of the degree course, the aims are to briefly illustrate basic knowledge of the general microbiology and to provide an advanced knowledge of the microbial ecology and applied environmental microbiology topics linked to the environmental biodiversity and sustainability and the role of the microorganisms in the conservation, protection and remediation of the environment.
The laboratory activities (16 hours) aim to integrate the acquired theoretical knowledge and to provide a basic knowledge of the main microbiological techniques.

By the conclusion of the course, the student will be able to:
- understand the importance of the microbial biodiversity and metabolic potentiality in the environment;
- apply the acquired knowledges in the aspects related to the role of the microorganism in their natural habitats and in the microbial technologies used for the conservation and remediation of the environment and for the environmental biodiversity and sustainability;
- comprehend the importance of the use of a multiple approach that combines different techniques for the study of the microbial communities in the environment;
- apply the acquired knowledge to the emerging issues covered in the degree course;
- use a scientific language and communication skills in the applied environmental microbiology field;
- analyse in depth topics, related to the use of microorganisms for the environment, based on the recent scientific international literature.

Diversity of prokaryotes. (2 hours)
Molecular taxonomy and microbial evolution. (2 hours)
Laboratory techniques for the analysis of the bacterial growth. (2 hours)
Metabolic diversity in prokaryotes. (3 hours)
Genetic recombination in bacteria. (2 hours)
Microbial ecology: analysis of the microbial communities in their natural environments. (2 hours)
Microbial habitats and role of the microorganisms in the principal biogeochemical cycles. (2 hours)
Importance of the rhizosphere microbial interactions for the remediation of the environment. (3 hours)
Wastewater treatments. (3 hours)
Bioremediation of contaminated environments. (3 hours)
Composting. (2 hours)
Bioleaching for metal recovery. (2 hours)
Microorganisms and energy and biofuel production. (2 hours)
Microbiology and cultural heritage: biodeterioration and biorestoration of artistic stoneworks. (4 hours)
Case studies and discussion of scientific papers on specific covered topics (6 hours).

Laboratory activities (total 16 hours) will provide practical knowledge of the main microbiological techniques used for the study of microorganisms in environmental samples, on surfaces and indoor air environments.

Biavati e Sorlini. Microbiologia generale e agraria, CEA, Zanichelli, 2012.
Madigan et al. Biologia dei microrganismi, Pearson, 2016.
Wessner et al. Microbiologia, Zanichelli, 2015.
Pdf slides in e-learning.
Scientific papers from the recent international literature on the role on the microorganisms in the microbial technologies applied to the environment and to cultural heritage.

Total course hours: 56 consisting of 40 hours lectures (videoconference Varese - Como) and 16 hours of laboratory activities. All the topics will be presented using slides available in e-learning. On the request of students, explanations of specific topics covered in previous lectures will be provided. Additionally, clarifications will be possible at any time during a lecture. During the laboratory activities the students will work in small groups and they will provide with a protocol, to be followed under the supervision of the professor, for the different experiences.

Students can email to the following address to schedule a meeting with the professor: Elisabetta.Zanardini@uninsubria.it
DiSAT, Via Valleggio 11, Como
Phone number 031 2386477