The course aims to provide a solid basis in general microbiology by discussing:
- bacterial diversity in terms of cell structure, morphology, growth requirements, metabolism and taxonomy;
- insight in the role of micro-organisms in ecosystems and the biosphere in general (biogeochemical systems, aquatic systems, plant-bacteria interactions,...), and in human activities ;
- metabolism and metabolic diversity (phototrophy, fermentation, nitrogen fixation, decomposition, mineralisation) ;
- viral diversity in terms of morphology, replication, genetics and taxonomy ;
- techniques related to culturing and killing micro-organisms.
The lab focuses on
- basic bacteriological techniques (aseptic work, stains, culturing media) ;
- counting techniques for bacteria ;
- experiments regarding microbial activity in air, terrestric and aquatic ecosystems ;
- microscopic analysis of wastewater sludge.