Principles of General Microbiology for Food Sector

Year of erogation: 
Unit Coordinator: 
Disciplinary Sector: 
Agricultural Microbiology
First semester
Year of study: 
Language of instruction: 


Learning outcomes of the course unit

Knowledge and ability to understand: through the lectures held during
the course, the student will acquire the methods and knowledge
necessary to understand the cell composition, physiology, and microbial
In particular, the objectives are:
a) to know the organization of the microbial cell
b) to know the main metabolisms
c) to know the replication and growth mechanism
d) to know the methods to study the microorganism and their diversity.
The knowledge of these aspects will provide the student with the
essential skills to understand the different cellular responses to
environmental factors and the students will draw autonomously
conclusions regarding the presence and the growth of microorganisms in
a different habitat.
Ability to apply knowledge and understanding:
using videos and scientific articles, students learn how to apply the
acquired knowledge in a real context, to study microorganisms
(microbiological analysis ) in samples of different origin, especially food
The autonomy of judgment:
using the acquired knowledge about the cell organization and physiology,
students will be able to evaluate the effect of environmental parameters
on microbial growth and how the microbial cell responds to external
stresses. The student must also be able to make an objective evaluation
of the teaching
Communication skills:
through the lectures, the comparison with the teacher and other
students, the student acquires the specific vocabulary related to
microbiology. It is expected that, at the end of the course, the student
can transmit, in oral and written form, the main contents of the course in
particular the implications of microorganism in foods.
Learning ability:
the student who has attended the course will be able to deepen their
knowledge on microbiology through the independent consultation of
bibliographic material (specialized texts, scientific journals), databases
relating to microbiology, web sites that deal with topics not strictly
addressed during the lessons.
The student will develop the ability to profitably participate in seminars
and training study days and to autonomously expand one's scientific cultural background, keeping updating on the most recent scientific and
technological developments connected to food microorganisms.

Course contents summary

The first part of the course will focus on cell biology, such as cellular
structure and function in prokaryotic and eukaryotic microbial organisms.
The second part of the course will be about the microbial physiology in
particular the microbial nutrition, different aspect of metabolism and the
microbial growth. The third part of the course will focus on the basic
microbial taxonomy. The course will conclude with the study of yeasts,
molds and bacteriophages.

Course contents

.Microbiology science; Microbiology History;
microorganisms and their natural environments; the
impact of microorganism of humans; prokaryotic and
eukaryotic cell. CELL STRUCTURE AND
FUNCTIONS.The cytoplasme; Cell membranes;
Cell walls; Microbial locomotion; Surface structures
and inclusion of prokaryotes; Sporulation;
Microscopy; Cell morphology. NUTRITION AND
and the transport of nutrient in the cell; Bacteria
metabolism: energetic and enzymes major catabolic
pathways. MICROBIAL GROWTH. Bacterial cell
division; growth of bacterial population;
environmental effects on microbial growth; stress
response; Biofilm; Evaluation of microbial growth;
laboratory cultures. INTRODUCTION TO
MICROBIAL TAXONOMY. An overview of the
phylogenesis; Classical and molecular taxonomy;
main bacterial groups. OTHER MICRORGANISM:
Fungi:characteristics, riproduction, metabolism;
Virus and batteriofage

Recommended readings

Michael T. Madigan, John M. Martinko Brock
“Biologia dei microrganismi. Microbiologia generale,
ambientale e industriale” (2016) Editore: Pearson.
ISBN: 889190094X
Lessons' slides

Teaching methods

Lessons will be organized face-to-face the recorded lessons will be uploaded on the Elly page of the course.
The teaching will be carried out through lectures in the classroom with
the help of slides that will represent teaching material, in addition to the
recommended text. The slides will be available online on the elly platform, in pdf format for students. The slides will be
uploaded to Elly before each topic is covered. During the lessons, the
appropriate use of technical language will be reiterated, and the links
between the various parts of the course will be emphasized. For this
reason, the presence and active participation of students is strongly

Assessment methods and criteria

At the end of the course, the level of learning of all the contents offered
during the lessons will be verified. The evaluation will be carried out
through a written examination consists of three parts.
1. The first part consists of 10 closed-ended questions. The
correctness of 9/10 answers is binding for the second and
third part correction.
2. The second part consists of 31 closed-ended questions, each correct
answer is 1 point. The achievement of the threshold of sufficiency
(18/30) of this second part is binding for the correction of the third part.
The mark of this second part will weigh 70% on the final mark.
3. The third part consists of an open-ended question where the student
must demonstrate that he knows how to correctly understand the
acquired concepts with the specific scientific microbiological language.
The answer will be evaluated in thirtieths.The mark in this third party will
weigh 30% on the final mark.
The exam results are published on the ESSE3 portal within a reasonable time
compatible with the number of students enrolled. Students can view the
exam by making an appointment with the teacher

Other informations

In the event of a serious health emergency, the methods of teaching and
verifying learning may be subject to changes which will be promptly
communicated on Elly and / or on the course website.