Homepage » Courses Offered » Undergraduate Studies » 8th 13A806 Biotechnology


Compulsory/Elective Code Semester Lectures Practicals Credits ECTS
Elective 13A806 8th 3 Hrs/Wk 3 Hrs/Wk 4 5.5

This course will educate under-graduate students and give an overview of the: a) principles of creating new or improved products for human benefit, b) understanding of selection-cultivation of micro-organisms and their use in the production of biomass or microbial products and for improving the properties of microorganisms for industrial and commercial exploitation, c) recombinant DNA techniques and their use for protein production and new diagnostic tools. Aerobic - anaerobic fermentation and various types of bioreactors. Industrial enzymes, enzyme immunoassays and therapeutic enzymes. Transgenic animals and mammalian cell cultures, d) importance of monoclonal antibodies, gene therapy, biotechnology and plant reproduction, transformation using physicochemical or biolistic methods, transgenic plants, bio-produced products, food, fuels, pharmaceutical products, e) social implications of Biotechnology, regulations and safety, ethical and social problems, f) methods of preparation of biotechnological products in the fields of industry, nutrition, environment, human health, etc.


At the end of the course students should: a) acquire enhanced knowledge on the basic principles of Biotechnology, b) be able to develop cogent and critical arguments based on the technological applications of biology which are useful in industry, primary production, energy, food science, health and environment, c) be able to perform, analyze and report on experiments and observations  in all the above fields, d) be able to integrate related topics from separate parts of the course.


Introduction (2 Hours): The history of Biotechnology from ancient times to present and its present state.

Use of microorganisms in Biotechnology (4 Hours): Methods for selecting aerobes and anaerobes, growth and biomass production, batch - fed batch - continuous fermentations, productivity, yields, role of physical and environmental factors.

Industrial and Commercial exploitation of microorganisms (5 Hours): Genetic improvement of bacteria and fungi for the production of value added products using traditional non-GMO technologies or modern genetic engineering.

Fermentation technology (4 Hours): Aerobic - anaerobic fermentations, different types of bioreactors, immobilised cells or enzymes.

Enzyme technology (5 Hours): Industrial enzymes, proteases, lipases, amylases, enzymic biosensors, enzymes used in immuno-diagnosis and disease therapy, protein engineering.

Biotechnology and animals (5 Hours): Use of cell cultures and cell lines, mammalian cell lines, monoclonal antibodies, transgenic animals, gene therapy.

Biotechnology and plants (7 Hours): Tissue cultures, cell cultures, strategies used for the construction of genetically modified and transgenic plants, analysis of transformation methods (physicochemical, biolistic or Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated), applications of transgenic technology, ways to increase safety.

White Biotechnology Products (5 Hours): Products and technologies used in food and drink industry, biofuels and bioethanol, fine chemicals, pharmaceutical products.

Social aspects of Biotechnology (2 Hours): Regulations and biosafety, legal and moral aspects, scientific aspects on the safety of biotechnologically produced food-drugs.


1. Molecular cloning: ligation of DNA fragments into plasmid vectors, Escherichia coli transformation with the ligation products, selection of transformed bacteria carrying recombinant plasmid DNA and culture growth, culture cell lysis, plasmid DNA preparation and digestion with restriction enzymes, electrophoresis of digestion products and analysis of results. 2. Improvement of Zymomonas mobilis ethanol productivity. Use of different growth conditions and substrates. 3. Bioreactors for continuous culture fermentations. Detecting optimum growth conditions. 4. Detection of microorganisms with strong enzyme activities. 5 Plant protoplast formation. 6. Detecting enzyme activities in commercial detergents.

  Lectures: V. Aleporou, Professor of Biochemical & Molecular Genetics (Coordinator) – C. Vorgias, Professor of Biochemistry – P. Kollia, Associate Professor of Human Molecular Genetics – K. Haralampidis, Associate Professor of Molecular Development Plant – D. Hatzinikolaou, Associate Professor of Microbial Biotechnology – K. Pappas, Assistant Professor of Genetics - Molecular Microbial Genetics – V. Kouvelis, Assistant Professor of Genetics & Biotechnology – Dr. A. Savvides, Laboratory Teaching Staff
  Practicals: V. Aleporou, Professor of Biochemical & Molecular Genetics (Coordinator) – C. Vorgias, Professor of Biochemistry –K. Haralampidis, Associate Professor of Molecular Development Plant – D. Hatzinikolaou, Associate Professor of Microbial Biotechnology – K. Pappas, Assistant Professor of Genetics - Molecular Microbial Genetics – V. Kouvelis, Assistant Professor of Genetics & Biotechnology – Dr. N. Arvanitis, Laboratory Teaching Staff – Dr. C. Gementzi, Laboratory Teaching Staff -  Dr. E. Katsifas, Laboratory Teaching Staff – Dr. A. Savvides, Laboratory Teaching Staff – Dr. M. Sarika, Laboratory Teaching Staff – Dr. P. Skourou, Laboratory Teaching Staff - Dr. P. Sotiriou, Laboratory Teaching Staff

Lecture units are usually assessed by written examinations which are held at the end of an academic semester in either January/February or June/July. Practical units are usually assessed by experimental report and/or short written assignment and/or written examinations.

  If you require more information, please contact the Course Coordinator, Prof. V. Aleporou at: Tel: (+30) 210 727 4629; e-mail: valepor[at]biol.uoa[dot]gr