551-1103-00L  Microbial Biochemistry

SemesterSpring Semester 2022
LecturersJ. Vorholt-Zambelli, J. Piel
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish


AbstractThe lecture course aims at providing an advanced understanding of the physiology and metabolism of microorganisms. Emphasis is on processes that are specific to bacteria and archaea and that contribute to the widespread occurrence of prokaryotes. Applied aspects of microbial biochemistry will be pointed out as well as research fields of current scientific interest.
ObjectiveThe lecture course aims at providing an advanced understanding of the physiology and metabolism of microorganisms.
ContentImportant biochemical processes specific to bacteria and archaea will be presented that contribute to the widespread occurrence of prokaryotes. Applied aspects of microbial biochemistry will be pointed out as well as research fields of current scientific interest. Emphasis is on concepts of energy generation and assimilation.

List of topics:
Microbial Biochemistry and origin of life
Methanogenesis and methylotrophy
Anaerobic oxidation of methane
Microbial autotrophy
Complex: (Ligno-)Cellulose and in demand for bioenergy
Challenging: Aromatics and hydrocarbons
Living on a diet and the anaplerotic provocation
20 amino acids: the making of
Extending the genetic code
The 21st and 22nd amino acid
Some exotic biochemistry: nucleotides, cofactors
Ancient biochemistry? Iron-sulfur clusters, polymers
Secondary metabolites: playground of evolution
LiteratureWill be provided during the course.