M4120

General Microbial Physiology and Diversity


Credit: 3 units
Instructor: Alber
Offered: Autumn

Lecture Topics:

  • Composition and structure of prokaryotic cells and microbial growth
  • From elements to cellular structures (e.g., biogenesis and physiological role of the cell envelope)
  • Assimilation of nutrients and biosynthesis of building blocks (anabolism)
  •  Biosynthesis of secondary metabolites and their roles in microbial physiology
  • Diversity of catabolic processes: aerobic/anaerobic respiration, fermentation, and oxygenic/anoxygenic photosynthesis
  • Microbial differentiation: sporulation, multicellular morphogenesis and biofilms
  • Microbial diversity: phylogeny, environmental constraints, functional roles in communities, variations in (metabolic) strategies.

Learning Outcomes:

After completion of the lecture component of the course, successful students will understand...

  • Appreciate the meaning of self-replication (without a cell there will be no new cell)
  • Calculate basic growth parameters
  • Understand the key reactions involved in fatty acid, sugar, and amino acid synthesis
  • Understand how energy from catabolic processes are conserved through electron transport phosphorylation and substrate level phosphorylation
  • Understand how microorganism play an essential role in the global carbon-, nitrogen-, and sulfur-cycles
  • Appreciate the enormous diversity of microorganisms but at the same time recognize the unifying features of all life

M4120 Syllabus [pdf]


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