Microbial Biotechnology

Subject description

In the scope of the course an overview of traditional methods and various approaches of microbial biotechnology will be presented such as:

-classical approaches if isolation of microorganisms from natural environments, industrial strain and process development for  industrial production of various bioproducts, production of primary and secondary metabolites, proteins and enzymes for food chemical and pharmaceutical industry.



-application of microorganisms in the devlopment of bioprocesses in food, agriculture and environmental industry.


Further, the content of the subject is inter-connected with new and widely applied approaches of metabolic and biosynthetic engineering, where recombinant DNA methodology is applied, development of the advanced bioprocesses for production of  generic products and introduction of novel bio-products, eg. small molecules with novel mode of action, antibodies and biopharmaceuticals.


Comparative overview of the most important industrial microorganisms and recent concepts in microbial biotechnology, relating to the most advanced industrial hosts (chassis), suitable for the production of wide spectrum of bio-products, both, traditional (generic) as well as new bio-products.



In the scope of the course, a number of novel hosts in current R&D will be presented, such as myxobacteria, cyanobacteria, algae,  archaea, not yet used often in industrial environments, but show great potential for production of various bio-products of potentially high economic advantage  and environmental value, currently being under intensive R&D development.


In the scope of the subject »Microbial biotechnology«, comparative overview of the most recently developed methods and approaches, only recently reaching industrial environment will be discussed such as:


-metagenomics and genome mining approaches, further fortified by the development of powerful bioinformatics approaches

– new powerful and affordable DNA sequencing, DNA synthesis and advanced gene manipulation methods

– application of recently developed »omics« approaches for better understanding and development of industrial microorganisms and bioprocesses.

-further, development and application of »synthetic biology« approaches, construction of novel »non-natural« biosynthetic  pathways and bio-products, the use of renewable  sources of energy, development of advanced biomaterials (biopolymers) and biopharmaceutical products from heterologous sources.


Finally, the subject »Microbial biotechnology« will also deal with issues such as regulatory affairs, safety, ethics, intellectual property and other important issues of modern society, due to the rapid development of biotechnology.

The subject is taught in programs

Objectives and competences

Students will receive a new information and understanding related to wider platform of modern approaches in microbial biotechnology, originaly based on the traditional concepts in biotechnology.

The course is unifying complementary knowledge, from wider  areas of microbiology to biotechnological engineering , thus ensuring comprehensive understanding on how bioprocesses are developed during research and development efforts and transferred to the industrial environment.

Students will meet a new concepts in modern microbial biotechnology, based on recently developed methods, which will clearly have great impact in the near future development in the area of microbial biotechnology.

Teaching and learning methods

Lecture, personal consultations and  individual work on seminar-projects.

Expected study results

Student will gain knowledge and understanding of new concepts in microbial biotechnology, based on the use of multipurpose host organisms (chassis), where modern methods such as biosynthetic and metabolic engineering, synthetic biology and omics approaches are applied, some of which are still being developed, but will clearly have near future impact in R&D activities in strain and industrial process development.


Content of the course will interconnect between theoretical knowledge and practical methodologies, applied in the work with industrial microorganisms at the laboratory scale and their transfer to the industrial environment. The course has obvious connections to the other areas of biotechnology such as pharmaceutical, medical food and environmental biotechnology, thus bringing valuable knowledge to students not closely familiar with are of microbial biotechnology.

Basic sources and literature

  • Microbial Biotechnology: Principles and aplications, 2013, 3rd ed. (Ed.: Yuan Kun Lee). World Scientiffic Publishing, Co. Pte. Ltd.  ISBN13: 978-9814366816 (Hardcover),
  • Microbial Biotechnology: Fundamentals of Applied Microbiology (Hardcover),2007, Eds.: Alexander N. Glazer Hiroshi Nikaido, 2nd ed. ISBN 9780-521-84210-5 (Hardcover).


Druga učna gradiva: Drugi viri obsegajo novejše revialne in originalne znanstvene publikacije in izbrana patentna  literatura

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E:  dekanat@fe.uni-lj.si T:  01 4768 411