MCRO07004 2019 Microbial Biotechnology

General Details

Full Title
Microbial Biotechnology
Transcript Title
Microbial Biotechnology
N/A %
Subject Area
MCRO - Microbiology
LIFE - Life Sciences
07 - NFQ Level 7
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2019 - Full Academic Year 2019-20
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Mary Heneghan
Programme Membership
SG_SBIOM_B07 201900 Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science SG_SMEDI_H08 201900 Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Science in Medical Biotechnology

The aim of this module is to review current knowledge, underpinning principals and recurrent themes in microbial biotechnology. Microorganisms are fundamental to many industrial processes and students studying this module will gain an understanding of the use of bacteria, yeast, fungi and algae in the production of valuable commodities. The module describes the use of microorganisms in biotechnology, the application of microbial enzymes in industry, the use of recombinant DNA in the production of products, fermentation processes, and downstream processing.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


Evaluate the potential for microbial cells in biotechnology.


Review the molecular methodologies for engineering microbes for use in the biotechnology industry.


Compare and contrast industrial fermentations.


Discuss the fundamental characteristics of various downstream processes used in the purification of biotechnological products.


Demonstrate proficiency in the performance of a variety of relevant laboratory techniques. Analyse, collate and report on experimental data generated in practical sessions.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

This module will be delivered full-time. A combinatorial teaching and learning strategy will be employed for the delivery of microbial biotechnology. This will include lecturer – directed instruction to deliver knowledge, active learning to promote engagement of the students in their own learning and cogitative activation to motivate students and stimulate higher order skills such as critical thinking, problem solving and decision making. Visualisation techniques will be utilised where possible to bring difficult concepts to life and highlight their practical applications. Co-operative learning will be encouraged, whereby students will work together to complete revision activities (e.g. crosswords, word searches, double puzzles). These revision activities will be provided at the end of each topic. A learning platform (such as moodle) will be used as a repository of educational resources and as a means of assessment (e.g. quizzes, uploading assignments and journals).

Module Assessment Strategies

Assessment of the microbial biotechnology module will include both continuous assessment (50%) and a terminal exam (50%). Students are required to attend a minimum of 75% of laboratory sessions. The final exam will examine the students’ knowledge of the module and assess the ability of the student to communicate that knowledge in a suitable manner. Formative assessments will be conducted at the end of each topic to evaluate student comprehension, learning needs and academic progress. These assessments will identify concepts that students are struggling to understand and skills they are having difficulty in acquiring. Continuous assessment will involve report writing (2 reports), data analysis and assessment of laboratory skills. The students must reach an assigned gate (mark) in the final exam and achieve 40% overall to pass the subject.

Repeat Assessments

If a student fails to achieve 40% in the module they will be required to re-sit the exam, resubmit or submit laboratory reports, write a theory assignment or a combination of these. Repeat assessments will be decided on a case by case basis, and will be informed by the amount and quality of continuous assessment submitted during the semester, and the performance of the student in the final exam.

Module Dependencies


Indicative Syllabus

Evaluate the potential for microbial cells in biotechnology.

  • Bacteria
  • Yeast
  • Fungi
  • Algae

 Review the molecular methodologies for engineering microbes for use in the biotechnology industry.

  • PCR, restriction enzymes, plasmids
  • Cloning
  • Transformation
  • Homologous recombination
  • Expression systems

Compare and contrast industrial fermentations.

  • The growth cycle
  • Factors effecting microbial growth
  • Fermentation: modes of operation
  • Fermentors/Bioreactors

 Discuss the fundamental characteristics of various downstream processes used in the purification of biotechnological products.

  • Development of a purification scheme
  • Centrifugation
  • Chromatography
  • Filtration
  • Chemical extractions
  • Monitoring of purification

Demonstrate proficiency in the performance of a variety of relevant laboratory techniques. Analyse, collate and report on experimental data generated in practical sessions. Some of these may include (but not limited to):

  • Microbial culturing
  • Cloning and transformation
  • PCR
  • Agarose Gel Electrophoresis
  • Chromatography
  • Immunoblots


Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
50 %
End of Semester / Year Formal Exam
50 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Self assessment quizzes Formative Multiple Choice - % OnGoing 1,2,3,4
2 Practical Evaluation Practicals /workshops Continuous Assessment UNKNOWN 50 % OnGoing 1,2,3,4,5

End of Semester / Year Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Final theory examination. Final Exam Closed Book Exam 50 % End of Term 1,2,3,4

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Flat Classroom Lecture/tutorial 2 Weekly 2.00
Laboratory Practical Science Laboratory Laboratory Practical 2 Weekly 2.00
Independent Learning UNKNOWN Self study 3 Weekly 3.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 4.00 Hours

Required & Recommended Book List

Recommended Reading
2013-04-29 Biopharmaceuticals John Wiley & Sons
ISBN 9781118687383 ISBN-13 1118687388

The latest edition of this highly acclaimed textbook, provides a comprehensive and up-to-date overview of the science and medical applications of biopharmaceutical products. Biopharmaceuticals refers to pharmaceutical substances derived from biological sources, and increasingly, it is synonymous with 'newer' pharmaceutical substances derived from genetic engineering or hybridoma technology. This superbly written review of the important areas of investigation in the field, covers drug production, plus the biochemical and molecular mechanisms of action together with the biotechnology of major biopharmaceutical types on the market or currently under development. There is also additional material reflecting both the technical advances in the area and detailed information on key topics such as the influence of genomics on drug discovery.

Recommended Reading
2016-11-01 Principles of Biochemistry 7e
ISBN 1464126119 ISBN-13 9781464126116
Recommended Reading
2014-02-20 Brock Biology of Microorganisms Pearson Higher Ed
ISBN 9780321943743 ISBN-13 0321943740

ALERT: Before you purchase, check with your instructor or review your course syllabus to ensure that you select the correct ISBN. Several versions of Pearson's MyLab & Mastering products exist for each title, including customized versions for individual schools, and registrations are not transferable. In addition, you may need a CourseID, provided by your instructor, to register for and use Pearson's MyLab & Mastering products. Packages Access codes for Pearson's MyLab & Mastering products may not be included when purchasing or renting from companies other than Pearson; check with the seller before completing your purchase. Used or rental books If you rent or purchase a used book with an access code, the access code may have been redeemed previously and you may have to purchase a new access code. Access codes Access codes that are purchased from sellers other than Pearson carry a higher risk of being either the wrong ISBN or a previously redeemed code. Check with the seller prior to purchase. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx The authoritative #1 textbook for introductory majors microbiology, Brock Biology of Microorganisms continues to set the standard for impeccable scholarship, accuracy, and outstanding illustrations and photos. This book for biology, microbiology, and other science majors balances cutting edge research with the concepts essential for understanding the field of microbiology, including strong coverage of ecology, evolution, and metabolism. The Fourteenth Edition seamlessly integrates the most current science, paying particular attention to molecular biology and how the genomic revolution has changed and is changing the field. This edition offers a streamlined, modern organization with a consistent level of detail and updated, visually compelling art program. Brock Biology of Microorganisms includes MasteringMicrobiology® , an online homework, tutorial, and assessment product designed to improve results by helping you quickly master concepts both in and outside the classroom. This program will provide a better teaching and learning experienceâfor you. Brock Biology of Microorganisms Plus MasteringMicrobiology is designed to: Personalize learning: MasteringMicrobiology coaches you through the toughest microbiology topics. Engaging tools help you visualize, practice, and understand crucial content. Focus on todayâs learners: Research-based activities, case studies, and engaging activities improve your ability to solve problems and make connections between concepts. Teach tough topics with superior art and animations: Outstanding animations, illustrations, and micrographs enable you to understand difficult microbiology concepts and processes.

Recommended Reading
2014-10-22 Microbiology
ISBN 1118934806 ISBN-13 9781118934807

"Microbiology: Principles and Explorations has been a best-selling textbook for several editions due to the author's engaging writing style where her passion for the subject shines through the narrative. The text's student-friendly approach provides readers with an excellent introduction to the study of Microbiology. This text is appropriate for non-major and mixed major microbiology courses, as well as allied health, agriculture and food sciences courses"--

Recommended Reading
2019-01-08 Fermentation Microbiology and Biotechnology CRC Press
ISBN 113858102X ISBN-13 9781138581029

Fermentation Microbiology and Biotechnology, Fourth Edition explores and illustrates the broad array of metabolic pathways employed for the production of primary and secondary metabolites as well as biopharmaceuticals. This updated and expanded edition and entirely re-written chapters, address the whole spectrum of fermentation biotechnology, from fermentation kinetics and dynamics to protein and co-factor engineering. In addition, The 4th edition includes new chapters on industrial biotechnology and biofuels. The fourth edition builds upon the fine pedigree of its earlier predecessors and extends the spectrum of the book to reflect the multidisciplinary and buoyant nature of this subject area.

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources

Additional reading and resources will be recommended by the lecturer.

Journal Resources

Additional reading and resources will be recommended by the lecturer.

URL Resources

Additional reading and resources will be recommended by the lecturer.

Other Resources


Additional Information