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Microbial PhysiologyOrganization logo: Wageningen University & Research

About this course

The Microbial Physiology course is an advanced course that addresses various aspects of microbial physiology. The following subjects are dealt with in the lectures: 1. Bioenergetics of microbial processes, 2. Respiration and fermentation, 3. Catabolic and 4. Anabolic pathways. In addition to these general aspects, various specific topics will be covered, such as pathway analysis using -omics, microbial interactions, methane formation and oxidation, bacteria and electricity, production of chemicals by microorganisms, and biofuels.
Apart from the lectures the students will participate in a tutorial in which they work on theoretical assignments, including the analysis of recent scientific papers. The assignments guide the students to get familiar with various techniques that are common in microbial physiology research, e.g. to construct mass balances, calculate free energy changes, and look into the catabolic and anabolic pathways of diverse microorganisms. In addition, the students will take part in a practical course. In small groups (2-3 students) practical experience will be gathered by using methods and techniques that are common in microbial physiology research. The various experiments are often part of the current research of the laboratory.

Learning outcomes

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:

  • explain the principles of the energy-yielding and -consuming reactions;
  • compose redox reactions and calculate Gibbs energy values for energy generating reactions using thermodynamic data as well as redox potentials;
  • explain the various catabolic and anabolic pathways and the mechanisms of energy conservation in microbial metabolism;
  • identify the various physiological groups of bacteria/archaea with their special features, their applications and ways to study them;
  • analyse recent microbial physiology related papers by working on tutorial questionnaires and to compose concise answers;
  • execute various analyses/experiments commonly involved in microbial physiology research and interpret and describe the results concisely.

Prior knowledge

Mandatory Knowledge:
ZSS06100 Laboratory Safety
Assumed Knowledge:
Microbiology & Biochemistry

If anything remains unclear, please check the FAQ of Wageningen University.
There are currently no offerings available for students of Utrecht University