Course Syllabus

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Course Description:

[INSTRUCTORS: We have included a general description here as a place holder. As with all sections, feel free to keep this information, replace it with your local course description, or remove this section entirely.]

The course includes the study of selected evolutionary, ecological, morphological, physiological, and biochemical aspects of representative micro-organisms. The laboratory includes staining, microscopic examination and identification of microbes, prokaryotic ecology, aseptic technique and isolation of microbes, microbial growth media, control of microbial growth including antibiotic sensitivity testing, metabolism, genetics, taxonomy, protists, fungi, helminths, and arthropod vectors. This course is intended for students in allied health majors.

Student Learning Outcomes:

[INSTRUCTORS: We have included general student learning outcomes here as a place holder. As with all sections, feel free to keep this information, replace it with your local Student Learning Outcomes, or remove this section entirely.]

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • survey important "milestones" in the history of microbiology.
  • compare and contrast the structures and functions of macromolecules found as components of microbial agents/microorganisms.
  • compare and contrast different types of metabolism/metabolic pathways employed by different types of microbes.
  • compare and contrast different types of microbial agents and microorganisms with respect to morphology, physiology, and phylogeny.
  • integrate concepts of gene expression, natural selection, and evolution in the context of microbiological organisms.
  • demonstrate and operate a microscope to examine microscopic life including bacteria, protozoa, algae, fungi, helminths, and arthropod vectors.
  • differentiate bacterial cultures by using staining techniques.
  • compare the use of different types of microbial media for isolation and identification of bacteria and fungi.
  • classify unknown bacteria by performing metabolic tests.
  • incorporate aseptic/sterile techniques in all laboratory experiments.
  • compare and explain the effects of physical and chemical factors in controlling microbial growth and perform antibiotic sensitivity tests.
  • explain the role of bacteria in biofilm formation and nitrogen cycling as important aspects of prokaryotic ecology.
  • explain aspects of host non-specific and specific defenses against microbial pathogens.

Course Content:

[INSTRUCTORS: Insert course content:

  • History and relevance of microbiology: early discoveries, impact on contemporary world
  • Review of general chemistry: atoms, molecules, chemical bonds, water, pH
  • Biological chemistry: organic molecules, functional groups, biological polymers
  • Biological membranes: structure and function
  • Eukaryotic cells: generalized structure and function
  • Prokaryotic cells: specific structural features and their functions
  • Taxonomy: outlines of taxonomic systems, modern bacterial taxonomy
  • Metabolism: enzyme function, general features of metabolic pathways, bacterial metabolism
  • Growth and control: mechanics and measurement of growth, environmental influences on growth, control of growth by physical and chemical agents.
  • Fungi: life cycles, reproductive patterns, taxonomy; common diseases caused by fungi
  • Protists: life cycles, taxonomy, common diseases caused by protists
  • Viruses: structural features, genomic features, replicative cycle, lysogenic mode
  • Genetics: structure and function of DNA, protein synthesis, regulation of gene expression, bacterial genetic recombination
  • Genetic engineering: introduction to, rational for, and techniques of genetic engineering
  • Health and disease: normal body microbiota, epidemiology, and etiology of communicable disease; history, identification, and treatment of selected communicable diseases
  • Immunology: evolution and features of body defenses against disease, passive defenses, phagocytosis, antibody mediated immunity, cell mediated immunity
  • Antimicrobial drugs: principles of antimicrobial pharmodynamics, mechanisms and usefulness of drug types
  • Microbes in the environment: environmental impact of microbial activity; bioremediation
  • Evolution: early cell types, relationships of bacteria and archaea to eukaryotic cells
  • Use of microscopes
  • Microscopic examination of bacteria: preparation of bacterial smears, staining
  • Isolation of bacterial species
  • Scientific measurements, the metric system and concepts of microbial size
  • Eukaryotic microbes (protozoa, algae), fungi, helminths, and arthropod vectors
  • Microbial metabolism: selected metabolic tests
  • Microbial identification: taxonomy of unknown organisms
  • Mechanisms of action of antibiotics/antimicrobials and antibiotic sensitivity testing
  • Use of disinfectants, antiseptics, and UV irradiation for control of microbial growth
  • Prokaryotic ecology including biofilms, nitrogen fixation, and the nitrogen cycle


Great newsyour textbook for this class is available for free online!
Microbiology from OpenStax, ISBN 1-947172-23-9

You have several options to obtain this book:

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Important Notes:

  • All first week assignments need to be completed and submitted by the due date to avoid possibly being dropped from the class.
  • Any student needing accommodations should inform the instructor. Students with disabilities who may need accommodations for this class are encouraged to notify the instructor and contact the Disability Resource Center (DRC) [link to your college's DSPS website] early in the quarter so that reasonable accommodations may be implemented as soon as possible. Students may contact the DRC by visiting the Center (located in room A205) or by phone (541-4660 ext. 249 voice or 542-1870 TTY for deaf students). All information will remain confidential.
  • Academic dishonesty and plagiarism will result in a failing grade on the assignment. Using someone else's ideas or phrasing and representing those ideas or phrasing as our own, either on purpose or through carelessness, is a serious offense known as plagiarism. "Ideas or phrasing" includes written or spoken material, from whole papers and paragraphs to sentences, and, indeed, phrases but it also includes statistics, lab results, art work, etc.  Please see the YourCollegeName handbook for policies regarding plagiarism, harassment, etc. [link to your college's academic honesty policies]

Course Summary:

Date Details Due