First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine
Course unit
AVP5073578, A.A. 2017/18

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2017/18

Information on the course unit
Degree course Second cycle degree in
AV2293, Degree course structure A.Y. 2016/17, A.Y. 2017/18
bring this page
with you
Degree course track Common track
Number of ECTS credits allocated 6.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination SOIL MICROBIOLOGY
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Agronomy, Food, Natural Resources, Animals and the Environment
Mandatory attendance No
Language of instruction English
Single Course unit The Course unit can be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit can be chosen as Optional Course unit

Teacher in charge ANDREA SQUARTINI AGR/16

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Core courses AGR/16 Agricultural Microbiology 6.0

Mode of delivery (when and how)
Period Second semester
Year 1st Year
Teaching method frontal

Organisation of didactics
Type of hours Credits Hours of
Hours of
Individual study
Practice 1.0 8 17.0 No turn
Laboratory 1.0 8 17.0 No turn
Lecture 4.0 32 68.0 No turn

Start of activities 26/02/2018
End of activities 01/06/2018

Prerequisites: Having already attended courses covering the topics of: general microbiology, agricultural microbiology, environmental microbiology, during the previous bachelor’s degree.
Target skills and knowledge: The students will get to know the roles and identities of the microbiological drivers of soil ecosystems and will learn their relationships within the plant-microbe complex interplay.
Examination methods: Oral examination after the end of the course
Assessment criteria: Demonstration of acquired competence in the course concepts and fluency in relating their rationale
Course unit contents: • Soil microbial diversity as a function of environmantal variables
• DNA as the catalogue of all soil bacteria and fungi
• Automated DNA extraction from soil
• DNA-based strain fingerprinting in soil bacteria
• Soil typing by microbial DNA polymorphism for regional and local origin guarantee and sample traceability
• Soil species diversity analysis at strain level
• Bacteria distribution across the soil profile
• Nitrogen dynamics in cropped soils
• Probes for soil fertility assessment by in-farm measurements
• Soil respiration measurements with laboratory and field methodologies
• Effects of soil agricultural treatments on microbiota
• Analysis of bacterial diversity in rhizosphere and rhizoplane
• Plant-Microbe interactions – from soil to leaf
• Computer-assisted analysis of plant colonization by microorganisms
• Bacterial endophytes detection by digital PCR
• Microbial involvement in organic and biodynamic farming practices
• Comparison of conventional vs. organic farming by soil biotic indicators
• Risk assessment for genetically modified microorganisms release in agricultural fields
• Focus on techniques for soil microbiology
• Milestones/highly cited scientific papers
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: Classroom lessons, practical laboratory activities, journal club presentations
Additional notes about suggested reading: The material used for the course will be made available to students through the Moodle platform of the School at
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Eldor A. Paul, Soil Microbiology, Ecology and Biochemistry (Fourth Edition). --: ISBN: 978-0-12-415955-6 Elsevier Inc, 2015.
  • Jan Dirk van Elsas, Jack T. Trevors, Janet K. Jansson, Modern Soil Microbiology, Second Edition. --: ISBN 9780824727499 - CAT# DK3097, CRC Press Book, 2007.