Microbial Genomics


About this course

Course description
Microbes (bacteria and fungi) are crucial for life on earth and are highly relevant for human life as beneficials, pathogens, food producers, nutrient cycling, agriculture, and many other aspects of our daily lives. The genomes of microbes provide a wealth of information on the processes and mechanisms that these organisms use in their environment. For instance on mechanisms that pathogens use to overcome host immunity or antibiotics, or enzymes that fungi use to produce interesting metabolites that can be used in medicine or agriculture. Furthermore, microbes are commonly used as model systems to research molecules and molecular processes and to uncover how organisms function, develop, and interact with their environment.

In this course you will learn how to analyse genome data of individual microbes, but also of microbial communities (metagenomics). The first part of the course will be focused on basic bioinformatic skills (linux, bash, and command line tools) and the analysis of bacterial genomes. The second part will be focused on the analyses of Eukaryotic microbes with a focus on fungal genomes, comparative approaches, and expression analysis. The course will have theroretical lectures, but will mainly consist of hands-on bioinformatic practicals. Therefore, affinity to work with a computer is required.

Learning outcomes

Learning Objectives
At the end of the course, students are expected to be able to…

  1. … understand the importance of (meta)genomics in microbial biology.
  2. … know and explain differences in prokaryotic and eukaryotic genome structure.
  3. … explain the power and usefulness of comparative genome analyses.
  4. … navigate a computer file system using the command line.
  5. … design automated workflows with a series of sequential commands and examine the results.
  6. … identify, visualize, and interpret between and within species diversity.
  7. … evaluate the quality of genome sequencing data.
  8. … explain the impact of genome sequencing and assembly strategies as well as the genome structure on the quality of prokaryotic and eukaryotic genome sequences.
  9. … develop a suitable workflow to analyse (re-)sequencing data and interpret the results.
  10. … perform gene predictions from a genome sequence and understand its challenges and limitations.
  11. … map transcriptome data, determine gene expression values, and perform differential gene expression analysis.
  12. … perform functional annotation of predicted protein sequences and interpret the results.
  13. … design and execute comparative genomics analyses and interpret the results.
  14. … hypothesize on the causes of phenotypes associated with the different genomic datasets.

Required prior knowledge

Knowledge about genome biologyand genome sequencing

Link to more information

If anything remains unclear, please check the FAQ of Utrecht University.


  • Start date

    11 November 2024

    • Ends
      31 January 2025
    • Term *
      Period 2
    • Location
    • Instruction language
    Currently no more seats available
These offerings are valid for students of Wageningen University