Key information

Next planned course: 3-6 February & 3-6 March 2021
Registration deadline: Registration for this course is now closed.
Location: NTNU – Hybrid course – Available on-site for those who can attend and digitally for those who cannot
Course responsible: Dr. Helga Ertesvåg

Grading: Poster presentation (20%) and an exam (80%) (pass/fail)
Credits: 7.5 ECTS
NTNU course code: BT8120


Students should apply to BioCat using the registration form at the bottom of this page. In addition:

Attention! This course will be held as a hybrid solution. Therefore, it will be available on-site for those who can attend and digitally for those who cannot


The objective of the course is to provide an understanding of the physiology of the microbial cell and how it can be manipulated. In the first part, the focus will be on molecular biology and physiology, emphasizing topics that are important for synthetic biology. The second part focuses on the approaches and tools directly utilized in synthetic biology.

Part 1: Basic prokaryote molecular biology and physiology

  • Gene expression and regulation
  • Growth and Bioenergetics
  • Cell differentiation
  • Secondary metabolism
  • Cell communication and interactions
  • Coordination and regulation of microbial metabolism

Part 2: Synthetic Biology

  • Genetic circuits
  • Design, construction and expression of synthetic pathways
  • Genetic engineering techniques and tool boxes
  • Synthetic genomes and gene editing (Crispr/Cas)
  • Omics technologies
    1. Genomics and transcriptomics
    2. Proteomics
    3. Metabolomics, fluxomics, lipid

Exam and evaluation

The students will prepare a poster presentation of a given paper for the second week. The course grade (pass/fail) is given based on the poster presentation (20%) and a written exam (80%). If there are too many students for an oral exam, it will be replaced by a digital home exam.

Course materials

The course material will consist of book chapters, reviews, original papers, and lecture notes totaling around 300 pages. The course will be given in English.

Learning outcomes

The successful student will acquire fundamental knowledge of prokaryote molecular biology and physiology at an advanced level as well as knowledge about recent advances in prokaryote molecular biology. For the topics on genetic circuits and -omics technologies, the aim is to obtain the understanding of what these approaches may contribute to a project. The student will gain knowledge on bacterial physiology and new technology that enables them to design synthetic circuits and pathways in the wet lab. They will learn which information can be obtained from –omics studies. They will receive training in critically reading a published paper.

Recommended previous knowledge

In order to get the most from the course, students should have a knowledge of biochemistry (advanced)(TBT4102 + TBT4107 or similar), microbiology (TBT4110 or similar) and molecular genetics (TBT4145/TBT4146 or similar).

BioCat Registration Form

Registration for this course is now closed.