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BB1030 Microbiology 9.0 credits

This courese gives a basic understanding of microorganisms and their importance for modern biotechnology

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Headings with content from the Course syllabus BB1030 (Spring 2019–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

The course handles micro-organism morphology and structure along with their occurrence in nature.  Taxonomical and physiological aspects of viruses, bacteria, protozoon, algae and fungi are covered.  Special consideration is given to the bacteria cell, its nourishment demands and growth.  Control of growth is clarified through sterilization, disinfection and antibiotics.  The basics of bacterial genetics are covered along with bacterial genetic development toward modern phylogenetics with the help of gene sequencing of 16s rRNA.  Mechanisms for sickness, for example: toxins and bacteria which are resistant against the body’s defenses, are also covered.  Some meaningful microbial sicknesses are given as examples.  Significant microbial processes for application within traditional and modern biotechnology are also covered.  A couple of examples of such processes are biological water purification and ground-decontamination.    

Intended learning outcomes

After passing the course, the student should:

  • have a general knowledge about micro-organisms and their occurrence in nature
  • understand micro-organism replication and physiology
  • have an awareness of micro-organism cooperation with and ability to harm other living organisms
  • understand micro-organism implications for science and industry
  • master presentation techniques to be able convey scientific observations

Course disposition

The course begins with light and phase contrast microscopy, general sterilization techniques and measurements of bacterial concentration.  Next comes a connected, coherent lab which consists of planning and execution: isolation, clean cultivation, and characterization of bacteria from a natural environment with the help of microscopy, cultivation of selective and differentiated mediums, proof by enzymes and other microbial products along with antibiotic spectrums.  Also, in this lab, nourishment mediums and substrates are to be prepared to cultivate aerobically and anaerobically as well as searching for information about isolated bacteria being cultivated.  The results are presented in a seminar orally, in a written report, and as a poster.  In a virus lab, differences and similarities between bacterial viruses and animal viruses are shown.  The influenza virus is shown using the help of fluorescent microscopy.  A modern technique to color bacteria’s ribosome with the help of fluorescent-labeled probes is taught.  This technique, FISH, is used to see specific bacteria in their natural environment.  With this, 16s rRna is isolated and sequenced for further work with the bioinformatics course.

Practice Assignments
During the exercises, the students are provided with knowledge of how to search for information in the library using different search engines.  The students will learn and utilize presentation techniques into two of the exercises.  As a conclusion, the students may choose a microbial-related inquiry, search for information about it, write a paper (around 5 pages) and present it orally for the other students.

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

Completed upper secondary education including documented proficiency in English corresponding to English A.

The upper-secondary school before 1 July 2011 and adult education at upper-secondary level before 1 July 2012

Specific entry requirements: mathematics E, physics B and chemistry A. The grade Passed or 3 inn each of the subjects is required .

The upper-secondary school from 1 July 2011 and adult education at upper-secondary level from 1 July 2012 (Gy2011)

Specific entry requirements: Physics 2, Chemistry 1 and Mathematics 4. Minimum requirement is a pass grade.

Recommended prerequisites

BB1010 An Introduction to Biochemistry and BB1020 Cellbiology with immunology.


No information inserted


Brock Biology of Microorganisms, 14th edition, 2015. M. Madigan, J. Martinko, K. Bernder, D. Buckley, and D. Stahl.

Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

A, B, C, D, E, FX, F


  • LABA - Laboratory Work, 3.0 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • TENA - Written Exam, 6.0 credits, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

Other requirements for final grade

Passed examination (TENA; 6,0 credits, grading scale A-F), passed laboratory exercises (LABA; 3 credits, grading scale Pass/Fail)

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

No information inserted

Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

No information inserted


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Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course web

Further information about the course can be found on the Course web at the link below. Information on the Course web will later be moved to this site.

Course web BB1030

Offered by

CBH/Protein Science

Main field of study

Biotechnology, Technology

Education cycle

First cycle

Add-on studies

No information inserted

Supplementary information

Students are required to sign up at least two weeks in advance for examination.

The course is given provided at least seven students are admitted.