Università degli Studi di Perugia

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Biological sciences
Study-unit Code
In all curricula
Ermanno Federici
  • Ermanno Federici - Didattica Ufficiale
  • Stefano Covino - Didattica Ufficiale (Codocenza)
  • 42 ore - Didattica Ufficiale - Ermanno Federici
  • 14 ore - Didattica Ufficiale (Codocenza) - Stefano Covino
Course Regulation
Coorte 2017
Learning activities
Discipline biologiche
Type of study-unit
Obbligatorio (Required)
Type of learning activities
Attività formativa monodisciplinare
Language of instruction
The microbial world. Microbial diversity. Microorganisms’ biology. Methods and protocols for studying microorganisms in laboratory. The prokaryotic cell (shape, size and arrangements) and its molecular structure (cytoplasm, cell wall, cytoplasmic membrane, endospores, etc). Functional properties of microorganisms. Nutrition and growth. Kinetic of cell division. Physical and chemical requirements. Metabolism. Bacterial genome. Variation and gene transfer in bacteria. Fundamentals of bacterial taxonomy (nomenclature, classification, identification). Light microscopy and techniques for observation of microorganisms. Direct examination without staining. Fixed and stained smears. Staining theory. Simple and differential stains. Culture media and cultivation methods. Techniques for isolating microorganisms. Biochemical identification of bacteria. Total and viable bacterial counts. Microbial inactivation by physical and chemical agents. Antibiotic susceptibility testing.
Reference texts
Madigan e Martinko - "Brock, Biologia dei microrganismi", 14th Edition, Pearson Ed. (2016) – or previous editions.Willey, Sherwood e Woolverton - "Prescott, Microbiologia generale", Vol.1. McGraw-Hill.
Simonetti, Simonetti et al. – “Elementi di tecniche Microbiologiche”, EMSI, Roma
Didactic material (powerpoint slides and scientific literature) provided by the lecturer.( http:www.unistudium.unipg.it)
Educational objectives
Knowledge of the main groups of microorganisms with reference to structural, functional and taxonomic attributes. Learning of the main methods for studying microorganisms in the laboratory: microscopy, isolation techniques, total and viable counting, and identification (through both biochemical assays and molecular biology approaches).
The foreground developed by the students during the first year of studies, i.e. Courses of Chemistry, Botany, Zoology and Cytology, is regarded as essential to the learning and understanding of Microbiology.
Teaching methods
Other information
Course venue: University buildings in Via del Giochetto - see Department website (http://www.dcbb.unipg.it)Office hours: please visit lecturer website (https://www.unipg.it/personale/stefano.covino/didattica)
Learning verification modality
The examination consists of an oral examination of ca. 30 mins. Throughout oral examination, the examiner will check the student’s level of knowledge and ability to build connections between various parts of the Microbiology program, as well as terminology used and command of technical language.
Extended program
The Microbiology course aims to provide an overview of the microbial world. While shedding light on the biology of microorganisms, basic concepts delivered will be useful for other disciplines as well as for diverse professional applications. The course mainly deals with various aspects of bacteriology (cytology, biochemistry and physiology and genetics). The following subjects will be covered: Organization of biological systems. Differences between prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms. Grouping of microrganisms according to Haeckel and Whittaker. Evolutionary relationships among living organisms. General Bacteriology Structure and ultrastructure of the bacterial cell. Size, shape and arrangements. Chemical composition. The circular DNA of bacteria. Cytoplasm and inclusions. Cytoplasmic membrane and its functions. Cell wall (composition, molecular structure, differences between gram-positive and gram-negative). Structures outside the cell wall: cilia, flagella, fimbriae, capsule, glycocalyx, etc.). Protoplasts and spheroplasts. Spores and sporulation. Bacterial metabolism. Enzymes and their regulation (constitutive enzymes, inducible and repressible). Energy processes. Glycolysis. Oxidative phosphorylation. Aerobic respiration. Anaerobic respiration. Fermentations. Comparisons of energy performances. Nutrition. Nutritional types: classification according to the nutrients, the energy source of carbon. Essential metabolites and growth factors. Bacterial multiplication and factors affecting it. Growth cycle. Growth parameters. Synchronous cultures. Continuous culture. Diauxic growth. Pathogenicity and virulence (infection and infectious disease). Virulence factors. Variability of virulence factors. Bacterial toxins. Replication of nucleic acids in bacteria. Genotype and phenotype. Physiological adaptation. Clonal selection. Alteration of phenotype. Genotypic variations. Bacterial mutants. Plasmids. Episomi. F and R factors. Recombination phenomena: transformation, transduction, conjugation and conversion. Antibiotic resistance. Basics of bacterial taxonomy. The species concept in microbiology. Criteria for the classification of prokaryotic organisms. Taxonomic ranks. Numerical taxonomy. Bacterial nomenclature. Main taxonomic groups according to Bergey. Microbiological techniques. Light microscopy. The powers of the optical microscope. Observing microorganisms through microscope. The staining theory. Preparation of smears. Fixed and stained smears. Simple and differential stains (examples). Sterilization. Theory and practical methodologies. Sterility controls. Culture media. Typical characteristics, nutritional requirements and classification according to physical status and functions. Cultivation of aerobic and anaerobic bacteria. The study of bacterial cultures. Isolation and pure cultures. Total and viable bacterial counts. The most important biochemical reactions. Principles of bacterial biochemical identification: miniaturized methods and computer assisted identification. Antibiotics susceptibility testing. Microbiological titration of antibiotics. Minimum inhibitory and bactericidal concentrations.
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