B 317 Advanced Environmental Microbiology

The course introduces the principles and applications of microbial biotechnology for the environment under the concepts of Microbial Resource Management. The course illustrates the biology, ecology, production and application of microorganisms for sustainable agriculture and environmental bioremediation and cleanup. The course is divided in four sections: 1) “Microbial diversity and soil fertility” illustrates prokaryote phylogeny and the microbial role in the soil/plant ecosystem. 2) “Microbial antagonism and biocontrol” deals with the biology, ecology and biotechnology of symbiotic and antagonistic microorganisms against phytopathogens and insects. 3) “Microbial technologies for environmental decontamination and bioremediation” introduces the metabolic pathways for pollutants’ degradation and the technologies for their exploitation in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. 4) “The industrial production of microorganisms for environmental applications” illustrates the principles of industrial microbiology including strain selection, microbial growth, and the fermentative process.