Course Logistics

Course Objectives

  1. Understand the role microbes play in our daily lives
  2. Understand the principles of cultivating microbes
  3. Acquire an appreciation for the diversity of the microbial world
  4. Know the anatomy and physiology of the prokaryotic cell
  5. Obtain a fundamental understanding of metabolism
  6. Understand principles of microbial genetics and horizontal gene transfer
  7. Understand host-microbe interactions.
  8. Explore the biology of bacteriophage and other viruses


The required text for the course is the eighth edition of Prescott Microbiology by Willey, Sherwood and Woolverton. You will find eight copies of it on reserve in the Hauser Library. If you have access to, or wish to buy an older edition this is perfectly acceptable, as I am aware of the cost of textbooks. We will also read research articles (primary) and review (secondary) literature in the course.


Primary and secondary literature used for this course will be from the following journals: Molecular Microbiology, Cellular Microbiology, Journal of Bacteriology, Applied and Environmental Microbiology, Infection and Immunity, Science, Nature, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, Microbiology, Current Opinions in Microbiology and Trends in Microbiology.


Midterm exams 

2 X 100 pts.

Final exam  

150 pts.


100 pts.

Lab reports 

70 pts.

Independent Project

100 pts.

Not completing any of the above assignments may result in failure of the course.

Additional Information

The syllabus, and list of readings are tentative, subject to change as the literature is constantly changing.

For lecture, in addition to the readings in Prescott, most all of the primary research articles, as well as secondary review articles are linked on the course website. Other supporting documents can be found as Word or PDF files on the Courses Server.

Come to lab prepared each week. Read the supporting material and set up the experiment in your laboratory notebook prior to beginning the exercise.

A few additional words about the laboratory exercises in Microbiology: In most of the exercises you will need to grow bacteria and then come in on a subsequent day and analyze results.  This means that the time you spend in lab will not be restricted to the time scheduled for your particular section. You will most likely need to spend time in the laboratory on more than one day per week, but the accumulative time will not be more than what was originally scheduled.