Syllabus | MICROBIAL PHYSIOLOGY AND METABOLISM | Second Year | B.Sc Microbiology


1 Microbial growth, measurement of microbial growth and effect of temperature on growth

Definition of growth, balanced and unbalanced growth, growth curve, the mathematics of growth-generation time, specific growth rate, batch and continuous culture, Temperature -temperature ranges for microbial growth

Must know 11
Synchronous growth, diauxie growth curve. Measurement of cell numbers, cell mass and metabolic activity., classification based on temperature ranges and adaptations Desirable to know 6
pH-classification based on pH ranges and adaptations, solutes and water activity, oxygen concentration, radiation and pressure. Nice to know 3
2 Microbial transport and metabolism

Diffusion – Passive and facilitated, Primary active and secondary active transport, Group translocation (phosphotransferase system), symport, antiport and uniport, electrogenic and electro neutral transport, transport of Iron. Chemolithotrophic metabolism- Carbondioxide fixation: Calvin cycle and reductive TCA cycle.


Must know 10
Physiological groups of aerobic and anaerobic chemolithotrophs. Hydrogen oxidizingbacteria and methanogens. Phototrophic metabolism- Historical account of photosynthesis, diversity of phototrophic bacteria, anoxygenic and oxygenic photosynthesis Desirable to know 6
Photosynthetic pigments: action and absorption spectrum, type, structure and location, physiology of bacterial photosynthesis: light reactions, cyclic and non-cyclic photophosphorylation. Nice to know 4
3 Enzymes and regulation

Enzymes:Importance, structure and classification of enzymes. Apoenzyme and cofactors. Prosthetic group, coenzyme and metal cofactors. Active site and its salient features. Mechanism of enzyme action. Activation energy, Lock and key hypothesis, induced fit. Enzyme kinetics and inhibition. Substrate saturation curve, Michaelis-Menten kinetics, Lineweaver-Burke plot. Effect of pH and temperature on enzyme activity.

Must know 12
Enzyme unit, specific activity, turnover number. Irreversible and reversible inhibition: competitive and non-competitive inhibition.
Activity: allostery, covalent modification and feedback inhibition.
Desirable to know 6
Enzyme regulation. Synthesis: introduction of enzyme induction and repression. Multienzyme: pyruvate. dehydrogenase complex, isozymes: lactate dehydrogenase. Nice to know 4
4 Microbial energetics and nitrogen fixation

Concept of aerobic respiration, anaerobic respiration and fermentation. Central metabolic pathways: EMP pathway, ED pathway, PP pathway, and TCA cycle. Anaplerotic reactions, gluconeogenesis, glyoxylate cycle. Mitochondrial and bacterial electron transport. Oxidation-reduction potential and energetic of electron transport. Fermentations: alcohol fermentation, Pasteur effect, lactate and butyrate fermentation, Fermentation balances, branched versus linear fermentation pathways. Nitrogen Fixation – Physiology of nitrogen cycle. Assimilatory and dissimilatory nitrate reduction, biological nitrogen fixation. Nitrogen fixers and mechanism of nitrogen fixation,

Must know 12
Components of respiratory chain, and their inhibitors. Anaerobic respiration, denitrification, nitrate/nitrite respiration. Oxidative phosphorylation: ATP synthesis and ATP synthase. Uncouplers, inhibitors and ionophores. Chemical coupling, conformational coupling and chemiosmotic hypotheses. Desirable to know 6
Properties of nitrogenase, and ammonia assimilation. Genetics of nitrogen fixation and regulation of nitrogenase activity and synthesis. Alternate nitrogenase. Nice to know 4


Suggested readings:

1.Atlas RM. (1989). Microbiology: Fundamentals and Applications. 2nd Edition,
MacMillan Publishing Company, New York.
2. Conn EE and Stumpf PK. (1976). Outlines of Biochemistry. John Wiley & Sons.
3. Gallon JR and Chaplin AE. (1987). An Introduction to Nitrogen Fixation. Cassell
Education Ltd.
4. Gottschalk G. (1986). Bacterial Metabolism. 2nd edition. Springer Verlag.
5. Lehninger A. (1982). Biochemistry. Worth Publ.

6. Moat AG and Foster JW. (2002). Microbial Physiology. John Wiley and Sons

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