Environmental Microbiology

Instructors: Spyridon Ntougias
Course Code: Δ3ΥΠ
Semester: 4th
Weekly teaching hours: 6
ECTS credits: 5
Prerequisites: Biology-Ecology
Course offered to Erasmus students: Νo
Ηλεκτρονική Σελίδα Μαθήματος (URL): https://eclass.duth.gr/courses/ TMC237/

Learning Outcomes:
Knowledge based:
• Understanding the structure and physiology of microbial taxa.
• Understanding the abundance, distribution and biodiversity of microorganisms and their interactions with the environment.
• Learning the fundamentals of microbial growth in environmental engineering systems.
• Understanding the role of microbial communities in nutrient cycling.
• Understanding the biodegradation processes and the role of microorganisms in preventing environmental pollution.
• Understanding the microbial processes and the role of microbial communities in wastewater treatment plants.
• Use of microorganisms for biotechnological applications and energy recovery from organic resources.
• Being familiar with modern molecular techniques in environmental engineering.

General Skills:
• Search, analysis and synthesis of data and information
• Autonomous work
• Teamwork
• Production of new research ideas
• Equity and Inclusion
• Respect for the natural environment
• Sustainability
• Demonstration of social, professional and moral responsibility and sensitivity to gender issues
• Critical thinking
• Promoting free, creative and inductive reasoning

Course Content:
Introductory to microbiology. Microscopic examination. Microbial diversity. Heterotrophic metabolism. Microbial nutrition and physiology. Microbial growth. Microbial enumeration techniques. Microbial interactions. Activated sludge microbiota. Obligately aerobic chemoautotrophs. Anaerobic ammonium oxidation: Anammox. Enhanced Biological Phosphorus Removal (EBPR) and Polyphosphate Accumulating Organisms (PAOs). Nitrate and sulphate as electron acceptors for microbial anaerobic respiration (denitrifiers and sulphate-reducers). Methanogenic archaea and methanogenesis. Biodegradation of xenobiotics and slowly degradable naturally-occurring organic compounds. Molecular techniques in environmental microbiology.
Laboratory work:
• Microbial enumeration, effects of environmental factors on growth, control of microbial growth, culture media.
• Microbial staining and examination of activated sludge systems, microbial identification tests, Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), agarose gel electrophoresis.
• Microscopic evaluation of activated sludge, identification of filamentous bacteria, protozoa and microbial indicators.

Suggested Bibliography:  

• Environmental Microbiology (In Greek), Ntougias S., Aivasidis A., Melidis P., Embryo Publications, ISBN: 978-960-8002-66-1.
• Brock Biology of Microorganisms, Madigan M.T., Martinko J.M., Parker J., Pearson/Benjamin Cummings, ISBN: 978-960-524-200-8.

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