The main educational goals of the course are:
1) Acquisition of knowledge on the use of microorganisms and enzymes/molecules of microbial origin for food processing, preservation and control;
2) Acquisition of basic and advanced methodologies for the selection, identification and exploitation of microorganisms of relevance in the agri-food sector;
3) Acquisition of logical means and knowledge for interrogating scientific databases, and for drafting and executing experimental protocols.
The expected learning outcomes are the acquisition of theoretical knowledge in the field of microbial biotechnology applied to the agri-food sector, of practical skills for the design and execution of laboratory experiments, and of critical ability to search and evaluate scientific literature data.
teacher profile | teaching materials


The course aims at providing to the student:
- adequate knowledge and understanding on the use of microorganisms and enzymes/molecules of microbial origin for food processing, preservation and control;
- adequate applied knowledge for the selection, identification and exploitation of microorganisms of relevance in the agrifood sector, for drafting and executing experimental protocols, and for retrieving and critically reviewing relevant scientific literature from on-line databases (making judgements).
During the course the following topics will be covered:
• Isolation and characterization of microorganisms of relevance in agrifood.
• Functional characterization of newly isolated microorganisms.
• Metagenomics for the identification of enzymes of relevance in agrifood.
• Biosensors in agrifood: generation and exploitation.
• Standard and advanced methodologies for the enumeration of microorganisms in food matrices.
• Production of recombinant proteins of interest in agrifood.
• Molecular techniques for improving the activity of agrifood enzymes.
• Genetic improvement of microorganisms of relevance in agrifood.
• Identification of antibacterial and anti-biofilm agents.
• Exploitation of natural and engineered plant growth promoting bacteria.
• Natural, non-conventional and engineered yeasts for brewing.
• Natural and engineered probiotics.

Core Documentation

Selected topics will be available on suggested Microbiology and Microbial Biotechnology books, as indicated in the following reference list. Specific research papers and experimental protocols will be provided during theoretic lessons on advanced research topics and laboratory practices.
Innovative teaching will be promoted by cloud-sharing of power-point presentations illustrating the main topics of the course. Moreover, students will be encouraged to make use of web-based resources and databases to autonomously increase their knowledge on specific advanced topics.
Students will be received at the best of their convenience if an appointment has been fixed at the end of the lessons or by email.

Reference Bibliography

- Brock - Biology of microorganisms. Mihael T. Madigan, John M. Martinko, Kelly S. Bender, Daniel H. Buckley, David A. Stahl. Pearson. - Food Microbiology: Fundamentals and Frontiers. Michael P. Doyle, Robert L. Buchanan. ASM Press. - Microbiologia dei prodotti alimentari. Microrganismi, controllo delle fermentazioni, indicatori di qualità, igiene degli alimenti fermentati e non. Giovanni Antonio Farris, Marco Gobetti, Erasmo Neviani, Massimo Vincenzini. Casa editrice Ambrosiana. - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/

Type of delivery of the course

The course is based on theoretical lessons in classroom and on laboratory practice. Starting from March 5th 2020, the lessons will be held online on the Microsoft Teams platform due to the COVID-19 emergency. All communications will be sent to students via email and through the Moodle platform (https://scienze.el.uniroma3.it), from which students can also download the slides of the lessons (also available on the DropBox shared folder).


Admission to the final exams is restricted to students that will attend at least 18 lessons (theoretical or practical) out of the 24 lessons of the course.

Type of evaluation

The student will be asked to autonomously select a scientific publication to be presented at the beginning of the exam. Additional theoretical and practical concepts discussed during the lessons of the course will be objects of the exam. Particular attention will be given to the ability of the student to apply the knowledge acquired during the course to solve new problems in the biotechnological scenario. Final mark will be attribute as follow: - 20% selection and understanding of the scientific publication; - 20% communication skills; - 30% acquisition of knowledge and understanding; - 30% capacity to apply the knowledge for problem-solving. Outstanding students will be certified with honors (lode).