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Facoltà di Scienze Agrarie e Alimentari Università degli Studi di Milano
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Biotechnology of microbial systems
Code: G610A-
Teacher:  Sara Borin
Year: 
Term: 
CFU: 
CFU subdivision: Lectures: 5,5
Practices in classroom: 0,5
Basic aims:  The course illustrates the biological mechanisms and the potential applications of complex microbial communities for environmental protection under the perspective of the Microbial Resource Management
Acquired skills:  Knowledge of the metabolic, physiological and ecological mechanisms modulating the metabolic potential and allowing the application of biotechnology deriving from the exploitation of complex microbial communities for environmental protection.
Course contents:  The course will consist of classroom lessons (5,5 cfu). The course programme deals with the understanding of biological mechanisms, biotechnology and analyses methods of complex microbial communities for clean-up and protection of the environment, under the perspective of optimization of the Microbial Resource Management. In particular will be described the environmental microbial biotechnologies directed to bioremediation of soil and waters, treatment of waste biomasses, production of sustainable energy. The last part of the course will be focused on the potential of microorganisms for particular productions (bioplastics, biomining).
At the end of the course will be organised a visit to one of the wastewater treatment plants of the Milan municipality.
Program:  1) BIODIVERSITY AND FUNCTION IN MICROBIAL ECOSYSTEMS EXPLOITABLE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL BIOTECHNOLOGIES
• Microbiomes, environmental biotechnologies and microbial ecology
• Systems biology and –omics technologies
• -omics and diversity analyses
• Analyses of diversity and function in environmental microbial communities

2) ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING
• Biosensors

3) BIOTECHNOLOGIES FOR BIOREMEDIATION
• Concepts and methods in bioremediation
• Remediation from oil and derived pollutants
• Reductive dechlorination
• phyto-rhyzoremediation
• metal bioremediation
• wastewater treatment: removal of SS, C, N, P

4) PRODUCTION OF SUSTAINABLE ENERGY
• Anaerobic digestion: production of bioCH4 and bioH2
• MFC: production of elettricity and H2, pollutant remediation
• Production of biofuels from lignocellulosic materials
• biofuel from CO2
• algae and oleaginous microrganisms

5) MICROBIAL CELL FARM
• Concepts in synthetic biology
• Production of bioplastics
• Production of nutraceuticals
• biomining

6) VISIT to a wastewater treatment plant
Prerequisites:  To proficiently face the course, the student will need to have basic notions of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Molecular Biology. Support knowledge is also those in Entomology and Plant Biotechnology.
Preparatory instructions:  Microbiology; Biochemistry; Molecular Biology
Learning materials:  Slides projected during lessons will be provided to the students, together with scientific articles dealing with the course topics. Textbooks that can be consulted for specific topics are: Microbiologia Agroambientale, 2008, a cura di B.Biavati e C. Sorlini, Casa Editrice Ambrosiana; ii) “Modern soil microbiology” A cura di vanElsas, Jannson, Trevors 2006 Ed CRC.
Other info:  The final examination will consist in open questions to specific topics described during the course. The exam will be written in the period June-September, oral in the other months.
DOWNLOAD
Program of Biotechnology of microbial systems (pdf version)
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