Microbial Genetics

Microbial Genetics

Teachers: Cinzia Calvio

Course content

Familiarity with Genetics and Molecular Biology concepts is necessary.
Students are expected to have a good knowledge of the types and functions of the genetic material and the associated nucleic acids (mRNA, tRNA).
Students should also be familiar with the general mechanisms of replication, transcription and translation of the genetic information.

Achievement of an adequate level of knowledge of the main genetic mechanisms in the field of microorganisms.
Full understanding of the main gene expression regulatory systems and of the physiological signals that drive such regulation.

Bacterial Genetics and its analysis: importance and tools. The origin of mutations: Fluctuation test, Newcombe test and Replica plating. Genetic Exchange in Bacteria and its evolutionary role. Competence in the Gram+ B. subtilis. Plasmids: general properties, replication and partitioning. Conjugation: transfer mechanism of self transmissible plasmids; F plasmid, Hfr strains, Prime factors. Conjugation in E. faecalis. History and genetic analysis of conjugation. Lytic bacteriophages: developmental cycle, replication, genetic analysis. Genetic experiments with the rII genes of T4 and the discovery of the genetic code. Lysogenic phages, Lambda & Genetic analysis of Lambda mutants. Bacterial defense systems; CRISPR; Toxin-Antitoxin systems. Transposons. Site specific recombination and Homologous Recombination. Cell division in bacteria and archaea. Genome segregation. Transcription in bacteria: RNA polymerase, stages of transcription, sigma factors. Gene expression regulation at the transcriptional level: lac & arabinose operons. Attenuation & Antitermination. Catabolite Repression regulon. Developmental processes in bacterial: Quorum sensing, Biofilm formation and persistence. Bistability in gene expression as a differentiation mechanism. Phosphorelay & Sporulation in B. subtilis. Transcription and gene expression regulation in Yeast. Mating type switching in Yeast.

L. Snyder & W. Champness Molecular Genetics of Bacteria, 3rd Edition ASM Press.