Molecular Microbiology

Academic year
Subject Area
Language of Instruction
Mode of Delivery
ECTS Credits
2nd Cycle Studies - Mestrado

Recommended Prerequisites

Fundamental knowledge of Microbiology,Molecular Microbiology and Biochemistry.

Teaching Methods

Lectures with the aid of media, with the active participation of students.

Students are asked to develop a project that integrates the knowledge acquired in this course and the state of the art, to solve environmental problems or to do technological modifications of production towards bio, always using microorganisms. Projects are presented by students orally and written and discussed.

The laboratory work is developed based on a hypothesis and a minimal protocol and the students prepare their material, acquire data and analyze the results in groups under tutorial support.

Learning Outcomes

This course aims to provide advanced knowledge of microbiology with emphasis on molecular aspects of microbiology. The teaching areas include molecular genetics of microorganisms, microbial physiology, evolution and phylogeny, environmental microbiology, pathogenesis and molecular microbiological applications.

Work Placement(s)



Molecular genetics. Review of concepts. Genomes and plasmids. Sequencing of complete genomes. Transposons.

Biology and physiology. Summary of the metabolism of bacteria. Gene expression and relationship with the environment. Systems biology. Microbial consortia.

Molecular pathogenesis: extracellular and intracellular pathogenic bacteria. Virulence mechanisms. Genetic islands of pathogenicity. Escape the intracellular attack.

Evolution and phylogeny. Molecular systematics of microorganisms. Polyphasic approach. 16 and 18S ribosomal RNA. "House keeping genes". Lateral gene transfer and the adaptation of organisms to extreme environments. Microbial diversity

Environmental Microbiology. Methodologies in environmental microbiology. Nutrient cycling. Processing and leaching of metals. Xenobiotics degradation. Plant-microbe relationships. Biosensors.

Applications. Production of antibiotics. Wastewater treatment. Microorganisms in the food. Microbiological quality control and biomarkers.

Head Lecturer(s)

Paula Maria de Melim Vasconcelos de Vitorino Morais

Assessment Methods

Laboratory work or Field work: 10.0%
Oral defense of the project : 20.0%
Project: 20.0%
Exam: 50.0%


1- Microbiogy. Prescott, L., Harley, J. e Klein, D. McG-Hill Pub.

2- Brock Biology of Microorganisms. Madigan, M., Martinko, J., Parker, J., Prentice Hall International, Inc.

3-Microbe, (Book ISBN or Item Number: 978-1-55581-320-8)

4-Principles of Modern Microbiology Mark Wheelis ISBN-10: 076371075X

5-Microbiology – An Evolving Science.

6- Published papers in the area of Microbiology, mainly those involving studies using molecular techniques in the resolution of microbiological objectives