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1. Know the main groups of microorganisms

2. Know the taxonomic, genetic and metabolic diversity of the microorganisms

3. Understand their importance for the ecosystems, as well as for the health and well-being of plants, animals and human beings

4. Understand the importance of the microorganisms in the agricultural and animal breeding activities

5. Know the theoretical foundations of microbial growth in open and closed systems

6. Understand the mechanisms that allow to control microbial populations

7. Know and apply aseptic laboratory techniques

8. Know and apply routine laboratory techniques that are employed in the study of microorganisms

9. Be able to interpret the results of the laboratorial tests carried out



Introduction. Structure and function in prokaryotic cells. Microbial growth and nutrition. Control of microbial growth. Microbial metabolism. Participation of the microorganisms in the biogeochemical cycles. Microbial genetics. Microbial taxonomy. Main groups of the prokaryotes. Eukaryotic microorganisms: notions of Mycology and Parasitology (including Protozoology). Acellular agents (virus and prions). Impact of the microorganisms in the agricultural and animal breeding activities.


Good Laboratory Practices and safety. Asseptic techniques. Isolation of bacteria in pure cultures: Staphylococcus (hands), Enterobacteriaceae (milk) and Rhizobium (root nodules). Morpho-physiological characterization of the isolates (Gram, mannitol, DNAse, hemolysis, catalase, coagulase, oxidase, O/F, TSI, urease, citrate, phenylalanine deaminase, decarboxylases, β-galactosidase, motility and API20E). Enrichment cultures. Antibiograms. Viable and total counts.

Teaching Methodologies

The basic concepts of the curricular unit are taught in lectures, using the expositive method and, whenever adequate, methodologies of a more active nature (such as the interrogative method).

In the laboratory sessions, the active method is the most used, although demonstrations of the techniques to be used are provided at the beginning of each unit. Case-studies are often employed to help the students to apply the acquired knowledge to practical situations.


Collins CH, Lyne PM, Grange JM and Falkinham III JO. 2004. Collins and Lyne’s Microbiological Methods. 8.ª Edição. Arnold, Reino Unido

Black JG. 2008. Microbiology. Principles and Explorations. 7ª Edition. John Wiley and Sons. EUA

Hogg S. 2005. Essential Microbiology. John Wiley and Sons, Reino Unido

Madigan MT, Martinko JM, Stahl DA e Clark DP. 2012. Brock Biology of Microorganisms. 13ª Edição. Benjamin Cummings. EUA

Pommerville JC. 2011. Alcamo’s Fundamentals of Microbiology. 9.ª Edição. Jones and Bartlett, LCC. EUA

Tortora GJ, Funke BR e Case CL. 2010. Microbiology: an introduction. 10.ª Edição. Benjamin Cummings, EUA

Willey JM, Sherwood LM e Woolverton CJ. 2008. Prescott, Harley, & Klein’s Microbiology. 7:ª Edição. EUA



ECTS Credits



  • Teóricas - 30 hours
  • Teórico-Práticas - 30 hours

Evaluation Methodology

  • 1st Frequency: 40%
  • 2nd Frequency: 40%
  • Punctuality, attendance and performance, Lab Journal and final report: 20%