Microbiological Methods

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Agricultural Microbiology
Second semester
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Learning outcomes of the course unit

The aim of the course is to provide the tools necessary to deepen the knowledge about the microbiological analysis in food. During the course the student will acquire extensive knowledge on classic and innovative microbiological techniques used in phenotypic and genotypic studies of food isolates. Knowledge of these aspects will provide essential skills to manage the microbiological analysis and to understand which protocol apply, depending on the purpose of analysis.



Course contents summary

The first part of the course will focus on the design and the choice of experimental protocols for study the microbial population in food. In this context, will be acquired the potential application of cultures dependent techniques and culture independent techniques. Different cases reported in the literature will be studied to better understand microbiological techniques application.The second part of the course will be about the different protocol for taxonomic identification of isolates. Moreover, different approaches to study the genotypic and phenotypic biodiversity will be acquired. The hours provided to each student correspond to 14 hours of frontal lessons and 15 hours of practical exercises.

Course contents

Lessons on the design and the choice of experimental protocols for study the microbial population in food. Food microbiological analysis by the application of cultures dependent and cultures independent techniques: study of microbial species, biotypes and genotypes present in food matrix. Isolation protocols. Taxonomic identification of isolates. Microbiological techniques for the analysis of intra-species heterogeneity by study of phenotypic and genotypic characters.

Recommended readings

Vaughan A., Buzzini P., Clementi F. Laboratorio didattico di microbiologia. Casa Editrice ambrosiana 2008. Galli Volonterio. Microbiologia degli alimenti. Casa Editrice ambrosiana 2005. Lessons' slides

Teaching methods

Lectures will be provided in frontal learning mode, unless public health concern should arise. The presented slides will be part of the teaching material made available online for students. "Case studies" will be discussed, useful for better understanding the possibilities of application of the different techniques for microbiological analysis of foods. In addition, each student is expected to carry out 14 hours of practice in presence /mixed mode. Attendance, even online, to theoretical lessons is strongly recommended. Attendance, even online, to practical exercises is mandatory: the student will be allowed to take the exam if he has attended all the exercises (for documented reasons, the absence of one of the expected practicals will be accepted).

Assessment methods and criteria

Specific lessons aimed to assessing the state of learning will be carried out at the end of each part of the course. Final examination will be carried out by a written examination with 31 closed questions. The student should be able to posses specific knowledge and competences to pass the exam . Each right answer will be evaluated with 1 point. The final vote will be obtained from the sum of the points reached within the 31 questions.