Applied Environmental Microbiology

By Prof. Gargi Singh   |   IIT Roorkee
Learners enrolled: 2471
This course prepares the student to address pressing environmental challenges by developing a fundamental understanding of the microbial communities and processes in natural and built environments. It lays and builds upon the foundation of basic microbiology, microbial energetics, and diversity, to applying tools provided by microbiology ranging from traditional to state of art for addressing relevant environmental concerns. It provides an indepth exploration of the diverse role microbes and microbial communities and includes topics such as: cell structure and elements, microbial energetics and diversity, ecology and population dynamics, environmental microbial processes including biogeochemical cycling, and microbes involved in biodeterioration and bioremediation.

INTENDED AUDIENCE : Students of Civil Engineering, Chemical Engineering, and related sciences, It is an elective course for UG students.
INDUSTRY SUPPORT : Water and waste water treatment companies such as VA Tech Wabad GMBH, Thermax India, GE Water, Siemens Water, SFC Environmental Technologies Pvt. Ltd., Voltas Ltd.; Biotechnological companies such as: Bharat Biotech International, Biocon, Biotech Consortium India Ltd;Bioremediation companies such as ONGC Teri Biotech Ltd, Chempure Technologies; CPCB,  Department of Irrigation and Public Health.
Course Status : Completed
Course Type : Elective
Duration : 12 weeks
Category :
  • Civil Engineering
  • Environment
Credit Points : 3
Level : Postgraduate
Start Date : 23 Jan 2023
End Date : 14 Apr 2023
Enrollment Ends : 06 Feb 2023
Exam Registration Ends : 17 Mar 2023
Exam Date : 29 Apr 2023 IST

Note: This exam date is subjected to change based on seat availability. You can check final exam date on your hall ticket.

Page Visits

Course layout

Week 1 : Introduction; cell elements and composition Cell and its composition, cytoplasmic membrane Prokaryotic cell division Microbes and their environmental niches Historical roots of microbiology Nucleic acids and amino acids DNA structure, replication, and manipulation Protein and its structure Regulation Microbial nutrition Microscopy: Light microscopy, 3D Imaging, AFM, Confocal scanning laser microscopy
Week 2 : Microbial energetics  and diversity Stoichiometry and bioenergetics Oxidation-reduction NAD, energy-rich compounds and energy storage Mathematics of microbial growth Glycolysis Respiration Citric-acid cycle Catabolic Alternatives Phototrophy, Chemolithotrophy, anaerobic respiration (Nitrate and Sulfate reduction; Acetogenesis; Methanogenesis; Metal, Chlorate, and organic electron acceptors)
Week 3 : Microbial metabolism and functional diversity of bacteria Prokaryotic diversity Classical taxonomy  Origin of life Tree of life Major catabolic pathways Catalysis and enzymes Energy conservation Sugars and polysaccharides, amino acids, nucleotides, lipids
Week 4 : Microbial ecosystems Population, guilds, and communities Environments and microenvironments Microbial growth on surfaces Environmental effects on microbial growth
Week 5 : Environmental genomics and microbial ecology; genetic exchange Environmental genomics Microbial ecology  Horizontal and vertical gene transfer: Replication, Transformation Transduction
Week 6 : Microbial symbiosis and virus, Mutation and its rate ,Genetic recombination, Population dynamics ,Virus ,Viroid, Prion ,Application of environmental microbes
Week 7 : Investigations in environmental microbiology: sampling, detection, isolation, taxonomic and functional annotation and quantification; Introductory bioinformatics and data analysis Microbial sampling Culture based and culture independent tools Molecular biology tools: Cloning, amplification, sequencing,Case study
Week 8 : Bioremediation and wastewater microbiology, Bioremediation and examples, Acid mine drainage, Enhanced metal recovery, Wastewater microbiology
Week 9 : Drinking water microbiology, Drinking water microbiome and treatment, Microbial instability ,Water borne microbial diseases
Week 10 : Solid waste microbiology and antimicrobial resistance, Landfills,  Leachate, Anaerobic degradation phases, Antimicrobial resistance
Week  11: Epidemiology and biosensors ,Public health, Epidemics, Biosensors ,Wearable biosensors
Week 12 : Built microbiology, exposomes and bioinformatics, Exposure routes ,Microbes living around us ,Exposomes Basic bioinformatics, Bioinformatics tools available online

Books and references

1. Bruce E. Rittmann, and Perry L. McCarty. Environmental Biotechnology: Principles and Applications. McGraw-Hill, 2001. ISBN: 0071181849. 2017. 
2. Madigan, M., Bender K. S., Buckley D.H., Sattley W. M., and Stahl D.A.. Brock Biology of Microorganisms. 15th ed. New York: Pearson, 2017. ISBN: 0134261925. 2001.

Instructor bio

Prof. Gargi Singh

IIT Roorkee
Dr. Gargi Singh is currently working at the interface of microbiology and environmental engineering at IIT Roorkee to address environmental challenges of pathogen ingress in water distribution network and environmental proliferation of antibiotic resistance. In her doctoral research, she applied molecular biology tools including quantitative polymerase chain reaction, isolation, selection, high-throughput sequencing on pyrosequencing and Illumina based platforms, and metagenomics to investigate biodegradation of petroleum and nanocellulose, and sequestration of heavy metals. She is also faculty member of Centre of Nanotechnology at IIT Roorkee, where she is currently teaching environmental statistics and environmental implications of nanotechnology.

Course certificate

The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
Date and Time of Exams: 
29 April 2023 Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.


Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 8 assignments out of the total 12 assignments given in the course.
Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100

Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTIFICATE ONLY IF AVERAGE ASSIGNMENT SCORE >=10/25 AND EXAM SCORE >= 30/75. If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.

Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Roorkee.It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.

Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

Once again, thanks for your interest in our online courses and certification. Happy learning.

- NPTEL team

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