Advanced Bacteriology1

Course content

Theme 1: Social bacterial interactions

  • Bacterial interactions, Quorum sensing, Socio-microbiology

Theme 2:  Microbial biofilm and evolution

  • Biofilms, Evolution of bacteria

Theme 3: Bacterial mobile genetic elements

  • Plasmids, transposons, and bacteriophages
  • Horizontal transfer of plasmids in natural environments

Theme 4: Phenotypic heterogeneity

  • Phenotypic plasticity, Adaption to environmental change
  • Phenotypic heterogeneity in isogenic populations

MSc Programme in Biochemistry
MSc Programme in Biology
MSc Programme in Biology with a minor subject
MSc Programme in Molecular Biomedicine

Learning outcome

By the end of the course students are expected to be able to master:


  • describe the molecular mechanisms and evolutionary basis of social bacterial interactions and behaviour
  • describe the different mechanisms behind horizontal gene transfer among bacteria
  • describe the prokaryotic species concept and evaluate different species definitions


  • evaluate the importance of biofilm formation to bacterial survival
  • evaluate quorum sensing in relation to biofilm formation and bacterial pathogenesis
  • evaluate the concept of sociomicrobiology and analyse the importance of bacterial interactions
  • evaluate the role of phenotypic heterogeneity in isogenic population as an adaption to environmental change
  • analyse the evolution and phylogeny of bacteria
  • analyse horizontal transfer of plasmids in natural environments


  • use and evaluate classic and molecular experimental methods to research central topics covered in the course and subsequently analyse data
  • put into a plasmid pespective the evolution of antibiotic resistance, both in human infections and in various environments
  • analyse, put into perspective, and criticize the primary scientific literature
  • perform oral presentation of acquired knowledge and ideas

Generally include two weekly 2-hour discussion classes (Tuesdays from 9.00-11.00 and Thursdays from 9.00-11.00), two lectures (Tuesdays from 11.00-12.00 and Thursdays from 11.00-12.00), and a lecture in "New trends in microbiology" (Friday afternoon). Practicals take place Thursdays (13.00-17.00). The mandatory laboratory report will be introduced during the practicals and is expected to reflect the learning output from the laboratory classes.

See Absalon.

Introductory courses in molecular biology and microbiology are recommended.

Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 25 minutes
Type of assessment details
Final oral exam based on curriculum, 25 minutes without preparation. All exam questions will be published 10 days before the exam.
Exam registration requirements

In order to be allowed to the final exam, the student should have participated actively in the course by being present at the exercises (minimum 80% presence at the exercises), and by performing a satisfactory oral presentation based on a scientific paper. In addition, the students will hand in a laboratory report that has to be passed.


Only certain aids allowed

Students may bring their own notes.

Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship

The same as the ordinary exam.

If the requirement of 80% attendance at the exercises is not fulfilled, the student must take the course again the next year.

If the requirement of performing a satisfactory oral presentation based on a scientific paper is not fulfilled, the student must hand in an 2-3 page essay based on a scientific paper no later than three weeks before reexam. The scientific paper will resemble the article from ordinary oral presentation and is selected by the lecturer.

If the requirement of handing in a laboratory report (that has to be passed) is not fulfilled, the student must hand in a report no later than three weeks before reexam.

Criteria for exam assessment

In order to obtain the grade 12 the student should convincingly and accurately demonstrate the knowledge, skills and competences described under Learning Outcome.

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 18
  • Preparation
  • 125
  • Practical exercises
  • 30
  • Project work
  • 5
  • Seminar
  • 27
  • Exam
  • 1
  • English
  • 206


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Full Degree Master

1 block

Block 1
No limitation.
The number of seats may be reduced in the late registration period
Study Board for the Biological Area
Contracting department
  • Department of Biology
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Science
Course Coordinator
  • Søren Johannes Sørensen   (3-786f7845676e7433707a336970)

Mette Burmølle, Anders Priemé, Søren Johannes Sørensen, Jonas Stenløkke Madsen and guest lecturers

Saved on the 28-02-2023

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