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Compulsory/Elective Code Semester Lectures Practicals Credits ECTS
Elective 13B046 7th  2 Hrs/Wk 3 Hrs/Wk 3 4

The course addresses concepts related to the applications of microorganisms - either as pure cultures or as microbial communities - in the environment and the economy.


Knowledge: Students are expected to acquire knowledge related to: a) the way micro-organisms participate and interact with abiotic and biotic factors in different ecosystems, b) the methodology applied to the microbial analysis of environmental samples, c) the uses and applications of microorganisms in the production of chemicals and biofuels, d) the applications of microorganisms to waste treatment and degradation of organic pollutants, e) the uses of microorganisms in food and beverage production, f) the mathematical models applied in microbial bioreactors

Skills: Students will be able to: a) explain how microorganisms are involved in shaping the different ecosystems, b) apply the appropriate methodology for the analysis of environmental samples, c) analyze and design processes related to the use of microorganisms as biocatalysts in industry and environmental protection


Microbial environments (Soil, aquatic, extreme, aerial microbiology, biomembranes: microbial mats, biomembranes). Microbial diversity (2 hours).

Methodology of microbial ecology (detection, quantification and identification, collection and processing of environmental samples, microscopy techniques, culture methods, physiological methods, immunological methods, isolation-based methods and nucleic acid analysis (4 hours).

Microbial waste treatment (liquid and solid wastes, municipal and industrial wastes) (2 hours).

Bioremediation (Environmental pollutants, physiology of microbial degradation of organic and inorganic contaminants, Microbial ore leaching, Soil and water applications) (2 hours).

Biocontrol in agriculture (Biocontrol of phytopathogenic microorganisms, weeds, invertebrates and vertebrate pests. Integrated pest management. Developments in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology of biological control (2 hours).

Applications of Industrial Microbiology (microbial industrial processes, synthesis of microbial products) (3 hours).

Microbial production of alternative energy sources (First Generation Biofuels, Second Generation Biodiesel, Biodiesel) (3 hours).

Growth kinetics of microorganisms in continuous systems (bioreactors - mathematical models), Influence of physicochemical parameters on microbial activity (4 hours).

Food and drinking water microbiology (Microbial contamination, risks and diseases, Microbiology of dairy products, alcoholic beverages and fermented foods. Microbiology and disinfection of drinking water) (4 hours).


1. Isolation of bacteria in pure culture from environmental samples – 2. Monitoring the production of antimicrobials, molecular identification of bacterial producers – 3. Determination of biomass, ethanol and carbon source concentration in a continuous culture – 4. Determination of biomass and protein yield coefficients in a continuous culture – 5. Microbiological analysis of water, determination of suitability for human use – 6. Comparative study of yogurt production by endogenous strains of the genus Lactobacillus

  Lectures: Dimitris HatzinikolaouAssociate Professor of Microbial Biotechnology (Coordinator) - Dr. Efstathios Katsifas (Laboratory Teaching Staff) - Dr. Alexander Savvides (Laboratory Teaching Staff)
  Practicals: Dimitris Hatzinikolaou, Associate Professor of Microbial Biotechnology - Dr. Efstathios Katsifas (Laboratory Teaching Staff) - Dr. Alexander Savvides (Laboratory Teaching Staff)

There are no prerequisites for the student to choose and attend the course. However, in order to achieve better understanding of the course, good knowledge of students in General Microbiology, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Plat Physiology is rather appreciated.

The course is offered to Erasmus students: Teaching in Greek language - Exams in English language.

The evaluation process is carried out in Greek language (there is the possibility in English for Erasmus students), with a final examination of the whole course that includes: a) written theoretical exams and b) practical-lab exams. The grade of the written theoretical exams contributes (2/3)x100 % to the final, total, course grade and the practical exams (1/3)x100 %.

  If you require more information, please contact the Course Coordinator, Assoc. Prof Dimitris Hatzinikolaou, at: Tel: [30] 210 727 4140; e-mail: dhatzini[at]biol.uoa[dot]gr