Course syllabus


KBT016 Biochemistry and biotechnology study period 1 HT23 (7.5 hp)

Course is offered by the Department of Life Sciences

Contact details

Examinator, lecturer: Cecilia Geijer (CG),, room 3051

Lecturer: Johan Larsbrink (JL),, room 3050A

Lab assistant: Yi-Hsuan Lee (Sophia) (YHL),, room 6024

Course purpose

- To convey basic knowledge of biochemical structures and reactions and provide insights into biochemical separation methods.

- To provide an introduction to biotechnology by giving knowledge of genetic engineering, microbiology and microbial cultivation as well as giving insight into some important biotechnological processes.



A detailed schedule is also found in the document "PM23-KBT016-SP1 including detailed schedule"

Course literature

Literature: John L Tymoczko, Jeremy M Berg, Lubert Stryer, Biochemistry: A Short Course, 4th Ed, International Edition. ISBN 978-1-319-24808-6, Available at Cremona.
Parts of chapters 5, 6, 19 in Lansing M. Prescott, John P. Harley, Donald A. Klein, Microbiology, 3rd Ed, Available as pdf on Canvas.
Lab manual

The sections in the course book that deal with relevant parts of the course are indicated at the respective lecture in the course schedule. The material in chapter 2 is something that has been covered in previous courses but can be read with advantage as a review before this course. Each chapter ends with a list of "key terms" that briefly lists the important things in the course. Therefore, it is important to be able to explain/understand these terms.

The course website can be found in Canvas, where you find distributed material and information. Continuous news, information and changes will be available and posted on the website.

Course content

Cells: Structure and organization of the living cell. Structure of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, function of different organelles, plant cells and animal cells, microbial growth and cultivation

Structure of biomolecules: Amino acids, proteins, enzymes, carbohydrates, lipids and nucleic acids. Enzyme catalyzed reactions. Allosteric enzymes, allosteric control and enzyme kinetics according to the Michaelis-Menten model. Biochemical separation.

Bioenergetics and metabolism: The driving force behind biochemical reactions. Energy conservation processes such as oxidative phosphorylation and photophosphorylation. Reaction pathways of catabolism. Regulation of biochemical processes.

The central dogma of molecular biology: The molecular processes of prokaryotic and eukaryotic replication, transcription and translation. Regulation of gene expression.

Biotechnology: Biotechnical production with microbial cultivation. The basics of recombinant DNA technology. Restriction enzymes. Vectors. Cloning. DNA library. PCR. RFLP's. Gene therapy. Transgenic organisms.

Course design

16 Lectures + introduction: covering the full course content.

3 Labs: Microbial cultivation, Photophosphorylation, DNA

Home assignments: 1) Molecular Structures and 2) Translation (for more information and deadline for submission see course website)

Written open book exam: covering the full course content.

Changes made since the last occasion

This year, there will be a "flipped classroom exercise”, which requires students to watch a recording of Lecture 15 Translation at home as preparatory work for a workshop in the classroom. During the workshop, the students will focus on answering the questions for home assignment 2, which deals with the topic of translation.

Learning objectives and syllabus

Learning objectives:

The student should be able to
- identify the basis of the molecular structure of various classes of biomolecules and describe these biomolecules regarding composition, structural characteristics and function

- describe prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells regarding composition and structure and describe the molecular principles of transport and enzymatic catalysis

- describe the principles of growth of microorganisms and microbial cultivation, calculate cultivation parameters and give examples and describe biotechnological production using microorganisms and/or enzymes

- describe how information stored in DNA is replicated and how this information is used to produce proteins via transcription and translation and how this knowledge can be used in molecular biotechnology and recombinant DNA technolog

- describe the basic principles of cellular metabolism and its regulation, the function of the central metabolic pathways and how ATP is produced in different biological systems

- perform laboratory work in Biochemistry/Biology/Molecular Biology


Link to the syllabus on Studieportalen.

Study plan

Examination forms


The exam will be in written form with grades 3, 4 and 5 and you may bring the coursebook as an aid during the exam. To pass the exam, at least 50% of the points are required in each of the course's three blocks, which are covered by lectures 1-8 (structure of cells, molecules of life), 9-12 (metabolism) and 13-16 (DNA, RNA, protein). If you fail to get <50% in one of the three blocks but get >50% on the total exam, there is a possibility of oral examination of that block (if you pass it, the final grade in the course will be no more than 3). To pass the full course, an approved laboratory course is also required. The results of the exam and the labs are reported separately and give 6 and 1.5 credits, respectively.


The biolabs are on the 4th floor in the Chemistry building, see schedule for the specific rooms that will be used. The labs are compulsory. If you cannot complete all labs this year, you get a new chance next year. Registration for lab groups takes place in Canvas. Don't forget to bring the lab manual and your own lab coat to the lab sessions.

Carefully read the lab manual before the labs and think through what needs to be done. This facilitates both the lab itself and helps when studying for the exam. The course includes 3 labs:

Microbial culture lab with presentation of results in connection with the lab session

Photophosphorylation lab with presentation in a separate, mandatory seminar

DNA lab with presentation of results in connection with the lab session

Home assignments

The two home assignments, 1) Molecular Structures and 2) Translation, are mandatory and must be handed in and approved before the final grades of the course can be registered in Ladok.

Course summary:

Date Details Due