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Β1.1 Biochemical Processes in the Aquatic Environment

The course deals with the main microbiological and biochemical features of microorganisms in the aquatic environment. The main topics of the course refer to water microbiology, growth kinetics, enzymes, bioenergetics, microbial growth stoichiometry, main biochemical pathways, microorganisms as water quality indices, completely mixed and plug flow reactors. These topics are covered with the following order:

  1. Microorganisms in the aquatic environment – Microbial diversity. Taxonomy of microorganisms (classification – identification, nomenclature). Cell structure and operation.
  2. Cell chemistry. Microscopic analysis.
  3. Substrate transport mechanisms. Growth and kinetics – enzymes – the effect of environmental conditions.
  4. Stoichiometry of microbial growth (half-reactions).
  5. Bioenergetics – oxidation – reduction. Energy calculations. Enzymes.
  6. Essential of biochemical reactions – electron carriers – the proton motive force – ATP generation.
  7. Catabolism (fermentation – aerobic respiration – anoxic respiration – anaerobic respiration – photosynthesis). Anabolism (synthesis of sugars and polysaccharides, amino acids and proteins, fatty acids and lipids, nucleotides and nucleic acids). Nutrient cycles.
  8. Waterborne diseases – epidemiology.
  9. Microorganisms as water quality indices. The use of biological indices for the classification of water bodies.
  10. Completely mixed and plug flow bioreactors – kinetics.