Welcome to the Unit of Microbiology web site. The laboratory of Microbiology belongs to the Department of Biology of University of Patras (Division of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development).
The main research interest οf the Microbiology lab concerns
- the study of physiology of oleaginous microorganisms, both heterotrophs (yeasts, fungi) and autotrophs (microalgae, cyanobacteria) and the production of microbial lipids, named Single Cell Oils (SCOs) with emphasis on those containing high percentages of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFAs), which are products with a major biotechnological interest for pharmaceutical and chemical industries.
- Food Microbiology, particularly the study of foodborne pathogenic bacteria and spoilage microorganisms.
In this framework, the laboratory has the expertise and has developed innovative strategies in the field of biotechnological research that are related to:
- the bio-technologies concerning the valorization of bio-waste/agro-industrial by-products or co-products of the agro-industrial and chemical activity in Greece in pilot and large scale. Wastes considered include the by-products of fish farming, of biodiesel manufacture (industrial glycerol), of olive mills (olive-mill wastewater), of wineries, the co-products of tomato and pear industries, etc., which are considered as substrates for the production of biofuels and microbial metabolic products with high-added value (SCOs, organic acids, microbial proteins etc.)
- the development of a complete and financially-viable biodiesel production system using crops of energy plants and by-products, like raw glycerol, which are characterized as renewable raw materials. These new technologies (biological cultivation of energy plants, biotechnological methods for biodiesel production) are of great importance for future enhancement of competitiveness in general economic and social renewal
- the production of enriched fish food supplemented with high-value compounds (microalgae biomass rich in PUFAs and pigments) in order to optimize the growth and physical state of the fish growing in Greek fish farms, aiming at the enhancement of the beneficial effects of them to the consumers’ health
- the assessment of the microbiological safety and quality of food and the evaluation of interventions for their enhancement, allowing for public health protection and food waste reduction
- the quantitative description and prediction of microbial behavior using mathematical models (Quantitative Microbiology)
- the study of microbial responses under stress conditions
- the study of biofilm formation
The laboratory of Microbiology is consisted of experienced staff enjoying international recognition. Postgraduate students and researchers from Greece and other EU countries perform their research in the laboratory. It also has developed relationships of continuous and constitutive cooperation with many European research centers, universities and other operational bodies. It possesses a full equipment for microbiological and biochemical analyses, it can offer quantitative and qualitative characterization of lipids that are contained in various substrates and into the microbial cell. Microbial metabolic products, such as organic acids, alcohols, sugars etc. can be also characterized. The laboratory has the expertise and the substructure for developing models in high scale for the optimization of production in microbial products. Microbiological and biochemical analyses of foods, as well as design of control interventions aiming at the effective management of their safety and quality, are also among the laboratory’s capabilities and services.