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Welcome to BIOL 351: Microbiology:



Course description: Microbiology (BIOL 351) is targeted toward those sophomore and junior students with interests in microbiology, cell, molecular and integrative biology and who have strong backgrounds in biology and chemistry. This course can be divided into three parts. The first part provides in-depth coverage of microbiology including: history of microbiology, microbiological methods, prokaryotic cell structure and function, and prokaryotic genetics. The second part of the course goes into the details of microbial diversity including: taxonomy and phylogeny of bacteria, archaea, and viruses; biochemical pathways that are unique to bacteria including aerobic and anaerobic metabolism, phototrophy, and chemolithotrophy; and microorganisms` roles in biogeochemical cycles. The third part of the course focuses on human/microbe interactions including virology, human-microbe interactions, immunology, and the molecular/cellular basis of pathogenesis. Three hours lecture and three hours laboratory. Credit not allowed in both BIOL 251 and 351. Prerequisites: BIOL 189, BIOL 196, BIOL 197, CHEM 121. 4 credits.




Course objectives: As a result of taking this course students should:


• Gain a broad knowledge of microbiology, including microbial cell structure, molecular biology, genetics, and physiology of major groups of microorganisms and the roles of microorganisms in ecology and human health

• Understand and appreciate the unique aspects microorganisms particularly Bacteria, Archaea, and viruses


• Master basic language and concepts pertaining to microbiology and molecular biology with the general goal of being able to communicate (reading, writing and speaking) with both scientists and lay people


• Build a foundation in microbiology that can serve students` future academic and career aspirations



Course Outcomes: The School of Life Sciences requires that all students graduating with either a major or minor degree in Biological Sciences;


Understand the nature of scientific knowledge; 1b & d

Understand cell structures and functions; 2a & e

Understand the physical nature of genetic information; 3a, b, d & e

Understand that all organisms are genetically related, have evolved and are evolving; 4a, c & d

Understand the metabolic complexities of cells and organisms; 5a, b, c & d

Understand the complex interplay of how organisms respond to and interact with each other and their environment; 6c, d, & f

Effectively communicate complex biological concepts in orally and in writing; 7a


The numbers & letters after each major learning outcome indicate specific learning outcomes associated with Biol 351. These specifics can be found in the full list of outcomes provided on the School of Life Sciences webpage.


Biol 351 also teaches students to explain the diversity and similarity of microbes, including their physiology, mechanisms of pathogenesis and host defenses, and unique ecology.


Biol 351 provides students with opportunities to develop many of the broadly applicable professional skills that are included in the University Learning Outcomes, including Intellectual Breadth and Lifelong Learning Skills, Inquiry and Critical Thinking Skills & Written Communication Skills.





Lectures: Tuesday and Thursday 11.30-12:45 pm, WHI 197




Instructors: Dr. Helen Wing


Assistant Professor,


School of Life Sciences






Phone: 895-5382


Office hours: Rm 314A White Hall; Tuesday 1-2pm


Course website:

 & Webcampus


Subject to revision


Labs: The lab is compulsory. All labs will take place in 313 White Hall.


Lab Coordinators:



Shyama Malwane
Phone: 895-3942

Office: 317 White Hall






Course materials:



Required text: Brock Biology of Microorganisms, 13th edition, Madigan, Martinko, Dunlap and Clark.

Required laboratory book: Microbiology Laboratory Theory and Application; third edition. Michael Leboffe and Burton Pierce: 2006







Lecture: 70% of your grade (700 points) will come from the lecture section. Lecture grades will be determined by performance on 3 midterms (154pts each) and a comprehensive final exam (238pts).


Lab: 30% of your grade (300 points) will be based on performance on the following: notebooks (150 points), lab quizzes (130 points total), lab conduct (20 points), 2 lab exams (150 points), and a report on an unknown organism (150 points). The lecture total plus the lab total will be divided by the total possible (1000 points) and multiplied by 100% to determine the final grade: A, 100-90%; A-, 89-87%; B+, 86-83%; B, 82-80; B-, 79-77; C+, 76-73%; C, 72-70; C- 69-67%; D, 66-57%; and F, <57%.



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