Academic Year 2021/2022 - 3° Year - Curriculum Tossicologia dell'Ambiente e degli Alimenti
Teaching Staff: Dafne Samantha Irene BONGIORNO
Credit Value: 6
Scientific field: MED/07 - Microbiology and clinical microbiology
Taught classes: 42 hours
Term / Semester:

Learning Objectives

Deepen the knowledge of microbial ecology and biogeochemical cycles. Know the composition and role of the microbial population in different natural habitats. Know the methods and strategies in environmental microbiology to acquire analytical skills and understanding of biotechnological processes applied to environmental problems and to the protection of the environment and of artefacts, with particular regard to biological processes for the reclamation of contaminated waters, sediments and soils.

Course Structure

Should teaching be carried out in mixed mode or remotely, it may be necessary to introduce changes with respect to previous statements, in line with the programme planned and outlined in the syllabus.Knowledge of general microbiology. Knowledge of English language is recommended.


Information for students with disabilities and / or SLD:

To guarantee equal opportunities and in compliance with the laws in force, interested students can ask for a personal interview in order to plan any compensatory and / or dispensatory measures, based on the didactic objectives and specific needs. It is also possible to contact the referent teacher CInAP (Center for Active and Participated Integration - Services for Disabilities and / or SLD) of our Department, Prof. Teresa Musumeci

Detailed Course Content

Prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells: bacteria, yeasts, molds, algae and protozoa. Metabolic diversity of microorganisms. Growth and adaptation of microorganisms in natural environments. The cycles of the elements: nitrogen, carbon, oxygen, iron, phosphorus, sulfur, calcium and manganese. Microorganisms and environmental compartments: atmosphere and microaerobiology, hydrosphere, soil, extreme environments. Interactions between microorganisms and other organisms. Microorganisms and metals. Degradation of natural organic compounds. Degradation of synthetic organic compounds. Study methods in environmental microbiology. Genetically modified microorganisms and environmental biotechnologies. Bioremediation of contaminated sites. Microbiology of biological wastewater treatment processes. Composting of organic waste. Biodeterioration of artistic artefacts and biotechnologies for their preservation.


N.B. A basic knowledge of each topic is a necessary but not sufficient condition for passing the exam.

Textbook Information


  1. Microbiologia ambientale ed elementi di ecologia microbica (a cura di Barbieri P., Bestetti G., Galli E., Zannoni D.) – Casa Editrice Ambrosiana.
  2. Environmental Microbiology Third edition ( a cura di Ian L. Pepper, Charles P. Gerba, Terry J. Gentry) - Elsevier
  3. Environmental Microbiology: Fundamentals and Applications Microbial Ecology (a cura di Jean-Claude Bertrand, Pierre Caumette, Philippe Lebaron , Robert Matheron, Philippe Normand, Télesphore Sime-Ngando)- Springer