2023-2024 / MICR0719-1

Introduction to microbiology


10h Th, 10h Pr

Number of credits

 Bachelor in biology2 crédits 


François Beaufay

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the second semester


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

Introduction: the diversity of microorganisms - General properties of viruses, prokaryotes and eukaryotic microorganisms.

Biological relevance of microorganisms

The structure of the bacterial cell and the function of essential components: Gram stain and the differences between Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria - morphology of the bacterial cell - Structure and function of the bacterial cell wall.

Accessory structures of the bacterial cell and their role: flagellum, pilus and fimbriae, bacterial capsule and other external layers, plasmids.

Introduction to bacterial genetics and practical applications (microbial biotechnologies).

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

This course aims at consolidating the student's knowledge of biology and diversity of microorganisms, as well as their importance in the environment, the agro-food industry, human health and microbial biotechnologies.

The student will also acquire basic knowledge concerning the structure and function of essential and accessory structures of the bacterial cell, the diversity of metabolism, and the interaction of bacteria with other biological entities (plants, human beings).

Considering the importance of microbiology in both scientific research and the industry, the methods underlying their study and their manipulation in the laboratory will be described during both the lectures and the practical sessions, during which the student will have the opportunity to consolidate his/her knowledge of these aspects.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

Course "Biology" (BIOL0006): basic knowledge  of general and cellular biology and of chemical biology.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Lectures ex cathedra (10 hours). Remote teaching could be implemented in relation to the evolution of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic or other necessities.

The practical sessions (10 hours) will be organized in the laboratories of the Institute of Botany (B22). Students (groups of 2) will carry out various experiments each illustrating a specific aspect of the course, also allowing a better understanding of and acquaintance with the basic methodologies specific to bacteriology (aseptic manipulation, ecc.).

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Blended learning

Additional information:

See "Planned learning activities and teaching methods" for details.

Recommended or required readings

Mandatory readings: the slides used during the lectures (as well as other relevant material, including e. g. podcasts) will be available on the University e-learning platform.
Recommended readings: the following textbooks, available at the University libraries, could be used as an additional support for the study of the course. Chapters corresponding to the different parts of the course will be clearly indicated in the provided slides.

  • Brock Biologie des micro-organismes, Madigan & Martinko, Pearson (ISBN, 9782744058400) ;
  • Microbiologie, Prescott, Willey, Sherwood, Woolverton ; De Boeck Supérieur (ISBN, 9782807308022).

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

written exam ( multiple-choice questionnaire )

Written work / report

Additional information:

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

written exam ( multiple-choice questionnaire, open-ended questions )

- Remote

oral exam

Additional information:

Written exam with multiple choice questions (depending on the evolution of the COVID-19 epidemiological situation, this exam could be converted to a remote oral examination).

The students will provide a laboratory report at the end of the practical sessions, whose evaluation will contribute 20% of the final rating.

Work placement(s)


Organisational remarks and main changes to the course

The presence at the practical sessions is MANDATORY.
Students are required to wear a laboratory coat and other personal protection equipment (PPE) during the practical sessions. Access to the laboratory will be refused to incompliant student.


Association of one or more MOOCs