Physiology of industrial microorganisms

Course Coordinator

ECTS points:


Course number:

Course Description


Physiology of industrial microorganisms - Introduction (2 hours). Methods in physiology of industrial microorganisms (6 hours). Bioenergetics and biomembranes, transport systems (4 hours). Diversity of metabolic pathways - catabolism and anabolism (4 hours). Structure of microbial cells (2 hours). Secondary metabolism: biosynthesis of antibiotics - regulation and function, modular polyketide synthases (2 hours). Global regulatory networks and signal transduction pathways (2 hours). lac operon of Escherichia coli (2 hours). Control of anabolic pathways and macromolecule biosynthesis (1 hours). Cell cycle, vegetative cell cycle, sporulation (2,5 hours). Physiology of lactic acid and acetic acid bacteria, incomplete oxydations and acetogenesis (2,5 hours). Saccharomyces cerevisiae and other yeasts: regulation of transport systems and carbohydrate metabolism (6 hours).


  • interpret and individually present available information about biochemical reactions and metabolic pathways and efficiently communicate issues in microbial physiology with experts and laics. 
  • explain application of certain (macro)molecule, cell compartment or whole (microbial) cell in bioprocesses for production of biotechnological products (e.g. alcohols, acids, microbial biomass, etc.).
  • explain formation of electrochemical gradient (chemiosmotic mechanism) and ways of generation of metabolic enegy as well as mechanisms of transport regulation (chemiosmotic transporters, PTS, egzo- and endocytosis). 
  • explain evolution and mechanisms of regulation of diverse metabolic (catabolic and anabolic) pathways, especially in traditional industrial microorganisms (lactic acid bacteria, acetic acid bacteria, moulds and yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae). 
  • explain mechanisms of signal transduction (global regulatory networks), especially mechanisms of regulation of gene expression (glucose repression, lac operon of Escherichia coli, synthesis of alarmone and functioning of relA/spoT modulon, sporulation in bacteria).
  • explain aplication of analytical methods for monitoring of targeted event at the level of enzyme, cell compartment, whole cell or microbial biomass in bioreactor and implement them.
  • apply selective conditions and known mechanisms of metabolism regulation (non-oxidative metabolism, incomplete biooxidations, Pasteur and Crabtree effect in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, mycelial pellet formation) during cultivation and maintenance of microorganisms as well as production of different products.  


L Lectures 40 hours
Lt Laboratory tutorials 30 hours

Regular and punctual attendance is required at the Lecture and all Laboratory tutorials to get signature.

The examination process includes a written exam and an oral exam.


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2. Alberts, B. i sur., The Cell, 1983, Garland Publishing, Inc., New York & London.
3. Lengeler, J.W., Drews, G., Schlegel, H.G., Biology of the Prokaryotes, 1999, Georg Thieme Verlag, Stuttgart, New York.
4. Moat, A.G., Microbial Physiology, 1979, John Wiley & Sons, New York.
5. Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology, 1999 (A.L. Demain, J.E. Davies, ur.) ASM Press, Washington.
6. Ikeda, M., Advances in biochemical engineering / biotechnology, 2003, vol. 79, Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York, pp 1-35.
7. Grupa autora: Biochemical Engineering Principles, 2006 (M. Berovič i A.W. Nienow, ur.) Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.
8. Lakowicz, J.R., Pinciples of Fluorescence Spectroscopy, 1999, 2nd edition, Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, New York.