Learning outcomes of the course unit
This course explores microbial diversity in the environment focusing on methods for studying microbial communities, microbial interactions within populations and with plants and animals and roles of microorganisms in biogeochemical cycles.
Course contents summary
This course has been designed with the following goal in mind: to educate the students of each new generation to the wonderment of the mostly unseen microbial world by showing them the importance of microbes to their own lives
Metabolic diversity of microorganisms. Sampling methods, quantification and classification of environmental important microorganisms.Classical and molecular methods for studying microbial populations (DGGE, TGGE, ARISA, T-RFLP ARDRA etc). Microbial community dynamics (colonization, successions). Microorganisms in their natural habitats: air, water, soil. Extreme environments microbiology, deep subsurface microbiology.Interactions among microbial populations (neutralism, commensalism, synergism, mutualism, competition, predation), interactions between microorganisms and plants (fillosphere, rhizosphere, mycorrhizae, nitrogen fixation). Microbial interaction with animals (mutualistic association of invertebrates with bacteria, symbiotic light production, rumen microorganisms). Microbial control of pests. Bioremediation: microbial interactions with organic and inorganic pollutants.
Assessment methods and criteria