MIB-20306 Microbial Physiology


Studiepunten 6.00

Course coordinator(s)dr. DZ Machado de Sousa
Lecturer(s)dr. I Sanchez Andrea
dr. DZ Machado de Sousa
dr. CM Plugge
Examiner(s)dr. DZ Machado de Sousa
dr. CM Plugge

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

Microbiology & Biochemistry


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. Microbial growth, 3. Catabolic and 4. Anabolic pathways. In addition to these general aspects, various specific topics will be covered, such as pathway analysis using -omics, anoxic photosynthesis, redox regulation in yeast, amino acid production, citric acid production, biofuels, methane formation, methane oxidation, dissimilatory sulfate reduction, hyperthermophiles, respiration with chlorine compounds and bacteria and electricity.
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 work with redox couples. 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, the various catabolic and anabolic pathways, the transport systems 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;
- compose redox reactions and calculate Gibbs energy values for energy generating reactions using thermodynamic data as well as redox potentials;
- calculate electrochemical gradients of compounds over an energized membrane;
- analyse recent microbial physiology related papers by working on assignments and to compose a concise report group-wise;
- execute various analyses/experiments commonly involved in microbial physiology research and interpret and describe the results concisely in a report


- attend the lectures;
- study literature and tutorials;
- work on tutorial assignments and answer to a questionnaire for each assignment;
- perform several practical experiments and answer a questionnaire for each experiment.


- written test with open questions and multiple choice questions (60%);
- three interim group reports on tutorial assignments (15%);
- three interim group reports on practical experiments and observations of practical performance (25%).
The written test needs a minimum mark of 5.5 to pass.


Brock Biology of Microorganisms (15th ed), by Michael T. Madigan. ISBN: 9780134261928.

Verplicht voor: BBTBiotechnologyBSc1AF