Environmental Biochemistry A


- To acquire the basic knowledge in the area of Environmental Biochemistry.

- Describe the biomolecules and their function.

- Discuss protein purification and characterization method, as well as examples of protein structure-function correlation including.  

- Interpret enzyme mechanisms and kinetics data.

- Understand the metabolism, be familiar with the basic concepts of bioenergetics and describe the main cellular metabolic pathways. Understand the difference between substrate-level phosphorylation, oxidative phosphorylation and photophosphorylation.

- Discuss environmentally relevant respiratory process.

- To understand the technologies/methodologies underlying key topics in the area of Environmental Biochemistry.

- To search and critically interpret scientific literature.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Teresa Sacadura Santos Silva


Weekly - 4

Total - 57

Teaching language



No requirements


1. Nelson, D.L., & Cox, M.M. (2019) Lenhninger principles of Biochemistry, W.H. Freeman and Company, San Francisco, 7th ed. 

2. Voet D, Voet JG (2011) Biochemistry, John Wiley & Sons, 4th ed. 

3. Botkin DB, Keller EA (2014) Environmental Science: Earth as a Living Planet, Wiley, 9th ed. 

4. Manahan SE (2017) Environmental Chemistry, CRC Press, 10y ed.

5. Nicholls DG, Ferguson S (2013) Bioenergetics 4, Academic Press, 4y ed. 

Teaching method

Available soon

Evaluation method


2018-2019 SCHOOL YEAR


I. General conditions of participation, attendance and evaluation of the discipline



The discipline of Environmental Biochemistry A includes:

- theoretical-practical classes (2 sessions of 1.5 hours per week);

- practical laboratory classes (4 sessions of 3h)



The frequency of the discipline is obtained by participating in all practical laboratory classes (compulsory), except in the cases provided for by law, which must be duly documented. The practical part of the course consists of carrying out, in groups of 3 or 4 students, practical laboratory work, in the prior preparation of these works and analysis of results.



Attendance to theoretical-practical classes is optional.



The course assessment process includes separate assessments of the theoretical and practical parts, and will be carried out in accordance with the General Regulation for the Assessment of Knowledge of the Faculty of Science and Technology.



Students who have not attended the practical part of the course are excluded from the assessment of the theoretical part of the course.



No extraordinary repetition session of practical laboratory work is foreseen. If, out of absolute necessity, the student has to miss the practical session that he/she is responsible for, he/she must carry out the work during another practical session of the same work, for which he/she must consult the posted practice schedule.



If a student attends the practical part of the course but has not passed the theoretical part of the course, he/she is given the frequency of the practical part of the course.



II - Subject assessment



In the evaluation of the discipline, the practical part has a weight of 30% of the final grade and the theoretical part, 60%.



The evaluation of the practical part consists of the elaboration of a Quiz before the laboratory session (20%), the performance in the laboratory (50%) and the elaboration of a questionnaire based on the results obtained (30%).



The evaluation of the theoretical component consists on the elaboration of 2 individual theoretical tests (30%), the presentation of 1 seminar in group (15%); participation in individual and group activities proposed throughout the semester in TP classes.

The presentation of the seminar is done in a group, but the evaluation is individual. The presentation and discussion will have a maximum duration of 25 minutes (ca. 15 min. presentation followed by 10 min. discussion).

The contents, presentation and discussion of the seminar will be components of the evaluation.

Students who have obtained a grade greater than or equal to 9.0 values in the average of the theoretical tests and a classification greater than or equal to 9.5 values in the final grade (on a scale of 0 to 20) will be approved.



The assessment of the theoretical part by final exam consists of an individual exam that includes all the contents of the discipline, which will correspond to 60% of the final grade. In order to pass, the classification in this exam must be equal to or greater than 9.5.



Students can present themselves for grade improvement only in the final exam modality, with the same weight for final evaluation as the tests. To do so, they must follow the rules in force. The grade of the seminar, activities or practical component is not subject to improvement.

For students with attendance obtained in previous years, the final grade will be calculated in accordance with the regulations of the corresponding year.

Subject matter

Introduction to biomolecules

Purification of proteins

Protein structure and structural-functional relationship

Enzymatic kinetics

Central metabolism pathways

Photosynthesis and photorespiration

Environmental relevance of respiratory processes 

Topics in environmental chemistry: (i) biogeochemical cycles; (ii) metabolic versatility, microbial transformation and biodegradation, (iii) bioremediation, (iv) case studies.


Programs where the course is taught: