Microbic Bio-technology

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It is intended that students develop and complement the basic knowledge acquired in the discipline of microbiology for application in the field of Biotechnology. Its general objectives emphasize the role of microorganisms as the basis of biotechnological processes, highlighting the importance of further study of microorganisms, in terms of diversity, metabolism and genetics, for the development of biotechnology. Intents that students acquire knowledge about the various stages of a biotechnological process; be able to apply strategies and perform practical work to enable them to explore microorganisms and enhance its application in biotechnology, developing good laboratory practices and the ability to integrate into teams working in the area of biotechnology.


Introduction to the course with reference to the history and development of biotechnology. Microbial diversity and genetic resources with application in biotechnology. Isolation, culture and selection of strains. Conservation and maintenance of collections. Study of metabolism and growth conditions of the strains. Raw materials to be used. Improvement of strains. Major strategies for heterologous expression, and genetic recombination. Main strategies for fermentation. Fermentation systems - batch, semi-continuous and continuous. Separation of the products obtained. Examples of applications.

Practical content. Screening of Microorganisms for the detection of bioactivities. Maintenance of selected strains. Study of the growth of selected strains in batch systems: obtaining growth curves, determining the growth parameters, evaluation conditions for the production of active molecules. Separation of the products by chromatographic processes.

Teaching Methodologies

The TP classes integrate the presentation of the theoretical foundations. A methodology for interactive exposition, encouraging discussion of the topics presented is followed. Examples and problematic issues for discussion and resolution by the students are presented.

In P classes, students undertake practical work, using the strategies discussed in the TP classes and following available protocols. The work is performed in groups with accompaniment. Students develop work in all components of the techniques used, through the organization of work, the preparation of all materials used for implementation of the protocols, observation, analysis and discussion of results.

Each student keeps a lab notebook to record all procedures and use it in all classes.


John E. Smith, 2009. Biotechnology, 5ª ed. Cambridge University Press. UK.

Nduka Okafor, 2007. Modern Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology, SCIENCE PUBLISHERS (USA).

Alexander N. Glazer e Hiroshi Nikaido, 2007. MICROBIAL BIOTECHNOLOGY: Fundamentals of Applied Microbiology, 2ª ed. Cambridge University Press. UK.

Lima, N. e Mota, M., Biotecnologia. Fundamentos e Aplicações, Lidel, edições técnicas, 2003



ECTS Credits



  • Práticas e Laboratórios - 30 hours
  • Teórico-Práticas - 30 hours

Evaluation Methodology

  • Attendance and Participation: 5%
  • Frequency: 35%
  • Individual and/or Group Work: 30%
  • Laboratory notebook: 30%