First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine
Course unit
AVP5073578, A.A. 2018/19

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2018/19

Information on the course unit
Degree course Second cycle degree in
AV2293, Degree course structure A.Y. 2016/17, A.Y. 2018/19
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Degree course track Common track
Number of ECTS credits allocated 6.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination SOIL MICROBIOLOGY
Department of reference Department of Agronomy, Food, Natural Resources, Animals and the Environment
E-Learning website
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

Course unit organization
Period Second semester
Year 1st Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
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 25/02/2019
End of activities 14/06/2019
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2016 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
4 Commissione a.a. 2019/20 01/12/2019 30/11/2020 SQUARTINI ANDREA (Presidente)
BASAGLIA MARINA (Membro Effettivo)
3  Commissione a.a. 2018/19 01/12/2018 30/11/2019 SQUARTINI ANDREA (Presidente)
BASAGLIA MARINA (Membro Effettivo)
2  Commissione a.a. 2017/18 01/12/2017 30/11/2018 SQUARTINI ANDREA (Presidente)
BASAGLIA MARINA (Membro Effettivo)

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: Students are given the option to choose whether they prefer to sit for an oral or for a written exam after thew end of the course. The written exam consists in a series of open questions.
Assessment criteria: Demonstration of acquired competence in the course concepts and fluency in relating their rationale.
Course unit contents: Evidences on the development of high quality soils through the actual experiences of farmers from different countries. Revisitation of several dogmas on the way organic matter accumulates in soil. Description of practices that can foster the increase of soil carbon content, its capability of water infiltration and overall sustainability in agriculure. Definition of the microbial roles throughout the above processes.
Nitrogen gas emissions from soil as a function of fertilization pracitices. Role of the bacteria involved in the nitrogen cycle in the various steps.
Microbial hotspots and hot moments in soil.
DNA as the catalogue of all soil bacteria and fungi. Automated DNA extraction from soil. Probes for soil fertility assessment by in-farm measurements via polymerase chain reaction.
Comparison of different bioindicators to reveal the efficiency of ecosystem services in conventional and organic farms, Comparison of species richness-based indicators with those focusing on functional diversity.
Methods to enumerate total microbial diversity in soils and different environments.
Coupling of specific gene targeting analysis with biodiversity surveys in predicting soil fertility.
Notions on biodynamic farming.
Overview of frequently occurring biases and errors in the use of statistics.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: Classroom lessons, practical laboratory activities, journal club presentations, group interaction among students on specific assignments
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. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Jan Dirk van Elsas, Jack T. Trevors, Janet K. Jansson, Modern Soil Microbiology, Second Edition. --: ISBN 9780824727499 - CAT# DK3097, CRC Press Book, 2007. Cerca nel catalogo

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Lecturing
  • Laboratory
  • Problem based learning
  • Case study
  • Interactive lecturing
  • Working in group
  • Questioning
  • Action learning
  • Peer feedback

Innovative teaching methods: Software or applications used
  • Moodle (files, quizzes, workshops, ...)

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
No Poverty Zero Hunger Good Health and Well-Being Quality Education Gender Equality Clean Water and Sanitation Affordable and Clean Energy Responsible Consumption and Production Climate Action Life Below Water Life on Land