Laboratory Exercises

Week Exercise
1 Media Preparation, Aseptic Technique, and Control of Microbial Growth
2 ATP Production
3 Microbial Diversity
4 Transposon Mutagenesis
5 and 6 Isolation of Phage from Sewage and Specialized Transduction
7 ß-Galactosidase Assays
8-13 Independent Projects

Laboratory Handout


You will be required to turn in abbreviated reports for the laboratory exercises scheduled for the first seven weeks of the course.  Be sure to answer the questions at the end of each exercise, as these will be helpful for preparing you for the exams.

I have established four Independent Projects taken from major areas of the field: Diversity, Disease, the Environment, and Biotechnology. It is suggested that students work in pairs for the independent project.

The Independent Projects are by no means fully defined. On the contrary, they are very open projects, and you will need to address such questions as: What is the scientific problem? What specific questions will you answer and how will you answer them experimentally? What are the necessary controls? What materials and equipment will you need?

You are required to prepare a formal written report for your Independent Project. Reports should be written as a scientific manuscript. The format is described below. They are due Thursday May 11th.

Format for independent project write-up:

  1. Title - Concise, appropriately descriptive title.
  2. Abstract  - Brief description of your project.
  3. Introduction - Pertinent, properly referenced, background information.
  4. Hypothesis - Clearly stated hypothesis, which is set up by the Introduction.
  5. Methods – How did you answer the question(s) posed? This does not need to be exhaustive, but should be detailed enough so that other researchers could reproduce your results.
  6. Results – Results of your experimentation, and whether they support or refute your hypothesis. Any graphs should have properly labeled axes, and all figures must have informative legends.
  7. Discussion - Discuss the significance of your results as they pertain to the current literature, any difficulties you encountered, and suggest alternate approaches and/or future experiments to address the question posed.
  8. Literature cited.