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Facoltà di Scienze Agrarie e Alimentari Università degli Studi di Milano
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Microbial biotechnologies for plant production
Code: G590R-
Teacher:  Elena Sara Crotti
CFU subdivision: Lectures: 5,5
Practices in laboratory:  0,5
Basic aims:  The course will provide to the students current knowledge about the state of the art and developing perspectives about microbial biotechnologies in promotion of plant growth and soil fertility. Environmental biotechnologies applied to the disposal of agricultural waste biomasses will be also outlined. Practical lessons will allow the students to learn the experimental methodologies applied to the research of new plant growth promoting bacteria.
Acquired skills:  The course will provide knowledge tools for the evaluation of potentials and limits of the application of microbial biotechnologies for plant production.
Course contents:  Role of microorganisms in creation and maintenance of soil fertility. Role and diversity of plant associated microbiota. Direct plant promotion: biostimulation and biofertilisation. Indirect plant promotion: phytopathogen biocontrol. Microbial biotechnologies applied to plant biomass disposal. Molecular methods for microbial identification and the study of environmental microbial communities
Program:  Role of microorganisms in soil formation, fertility maintenance and cycle of organic matter. Soil microbiota, rhizosphere, phyllosphere
Association between plants and microorganisms: mycorrhizic and attinorrhizic simbiosis, nitrogen fixiation and nitrogen fixing simbiosis
Plant Growth Promoting Bacteria: i) microbial mechanisms of direct plant promotion, biostimulation and biofertilisation, ii) microbial mechanisms of indirect plant promotion, antagonistic microorganisms, symbiotic control of detrimental insects or vectors of phytopathologies. Microbial inoculants: production, field application, agronomical effects
Microbial biotechnologies for plant biomass transformation and disposal: silage, anaerobic digestion, sludge treatment. Soil bioremediation
Microbial identification and study of environmental microbial communities, microbial ecology methods: molecular microbial ecology
Prerequisites:  General microbiology; biochemistry
Preparatory instructions:  general and agriculture microbiology
Learning materials:  “Microbiologia agroambientale”, a cura di Biavati & Sorlini. 2008 Ed. Casa Editrice Ambrosiana “Microrganismi benefici per le piante”, a cura di M. Iaccarino. 2006 Ed. Idelson-Gnocchi Lesson notes
Other info:  Slides showed during the course will be provided to the students

Examinations will be written (3 open questions)
Program of Microbial biotechnologies for plant production (pdf version)
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