General Microbiology, Biology 251 Fall, 2007
Syllabus Great Basin College
Professor: Pete Bagley Office: Lundberg Hall 128B
Phone: 753-2229 (wk); 738-1399 (hm)
Office Hours: T & Th, 9:30-12; W, 9:30-10:45;
and by appointment.
Lecture Reading Assignments and Exam Dates
4 Functional Anatomy of Cells
5 Microbial Metabolism
6 Microbial Growth
Exam I, Monday, Sept 19
7 Control of Microbial Growth
8 Microbial Genetics
9 Recombinant DNA and Biotechnology
12 Eukaryotic Microbes
Exam II, Monday, Oct 15
14 Disease and Epidemiology
16 Nonspecific Host Defenses
17 Immune Response
18 Applications of Immunology
Exam III, Monday, Nov 7
19 Immune System Disorders
20 Antimicrobial Drugs
21 - 26 Selected Pathogens & Diseases
27 Environmental Microbiology
28 Applied Microbiology
Final Exam, Monday, Dec 10
Reading assignments and exam dates are tentative, and may be changed at the discretion of the
instructor. Any changes will be announced in class.
Text: Microbiology, an Introduction. 8th ed. Tortora, Funke, & Case.
Lab Manual: Understanding Microbes. Claus.
Grading System and Policies:
The grade for this course will be based on two components: performance in lecture; and
laboratory. They will be weighted 70% for the lecture, and 30% for the lab.
The lecture grade will be based on four, one hour exams, worth 100 points each. These exams
are not comprehensive.
The lab grade will be based on two practical exams worth 100 points each, and 5 reports worth
20 points each. Also 20 points of the lab total will be based on my technical evaluation of your
proficiency in the laboratory. Staining, aseptic technique, use and care of equipment, are some of
the factors that will be judged. Excessive tardiness/absences and careless behavior will also be
factored into the technical evaluation.
Attendance in lab is mandatory, there will be no make up labs.
The grading scale is as follows:
90 - 100% = A
80 - 89% = B
70 - 79% = C
60 - 69% = D
> 60% = F
All exams and lab practicals will be held on the dates listed in the syllabus. Any changes to that
schedule will be announced in class well in advance. Missing an exam due to personal reasons
or illness must be approved in advance if possible, or by contacting me within 24 hours of the
exam in the case of emergency. Make up exams will be allowed and scheduled at my discretion.
Lab practicals are difficult to set up. As a result, make up lab practicals will only be scheduled in
unusual circumstances. In these cases the format of the exam may change. Do not miss lab
practicals! The lab quizzes will be scheduled at random throughout the semester. There will be
no make ups for lab quizzes.
Attendance will not be taken, but be advised: Regular attendance is the single most important
thing you can do to get and maintain a good grade.
This syllabus does not in any way represent a contract. It is a reflection of the intent of the
instructor, but do recognize that it is an organic construct that may change as the semester
progresses. Any changes will be announced in class.
Date__ Exercise Topic
Sept 1 1 Principles of Aseptic Technique
2 Aseptic Method of Transfer
4 Intro to Staining
5 Smear Prep and Simple Stains
Sept 7 7 Gram Stain
8 Acid-Fast Stain
10C Bacterial Flagella and Motility
11 Bacterial Capsules
Sept 14 Lab Exam I
12 Sterilization Principles and Methods
13 Preparing Culture Media
14 Streak Plates
15 Culture Purity
16 Agar Slants and Agar Deeps
17 Broth Cultures
Sept 21 21 Selective and Differential Media
23 Effects of Temperature
24 Effects of Elevated Sugar and Salt
25 Effects of Oxygen
Sept 28 26 Intro to Extracellular Degradation
27 Degradation of Polysaccharides
28B Degradation of Protein
29 Hydrolysis of Lipids
30 Differential Utilization of Citrate
31 Acid and Gas Production From Fermentation
Oct 5 Lab Exam II
32 Methyl-Red and Voges-Proskauer Tests
34 Indole Production
35 Litmus milk
36 Catalase Activity
Date Exercise Topic
Oct 12 58 Unknown Identification
43 Antiseptics and Disinfectants
44 Antibiotic Evaluation
46 Hemolysis of Red Blood Cells
Oct 19 20 Counting Viable Cells
Handout Effects of Handwashing
Nov 2 Lab Exam III
53 Detecting Coliforms in Water
Handout Bacterial Transformation
Nov 9 53 Detecting Coliforms in Water
Nov 16 Hand out Eukaryotic Microbes
Nov 30 Hand out DNA
Dec 7 Lab Exam IV
Always read the lab exercise ahead of time. Knowing the procedure allows the excise to go more
smoothly and quickly.
Important: Lab is scheduled on Fridays, but many exercises will require that
observations be taken on cultures within 48 hours. This will require your coming
into lab on Monday to make those observations.
There will be six lab reports to complete for this course. The reports must be typed, double
spaced. The reports should follow the following outline:
Introduction Give the background to the topic. Why is it important? Briefly explain what you
are going to do in the experiment (i.e., state the Objective of the experiment).
Procedures Explain what organisms, materials and methods were used in the experiments. How
did you do it?
Results Present the results. Point out key or unexpected results.
Conclusion What was the significance of your results? Explain the importance of the
experiment, and whether or not your outcome was inconsistent with what was expected.
Tables, graphs, etc. may be helpful. Do not remove pages from your manual. While this is not
an English class, bear in mind that correct grammar and spelling are important, and deductions
will be made for excessive mistakes in these areas.
Note that some of the write ups are based on more than one exercise. This does not mean that
you should write a report for each exercise, rather, the exercises chosen are thematically related.
So the report should blend the topics into a single report.
Assignment Date Due_______
1 Stains and Staining Friday Sept 23
(Ex 5, 7, & 8)
2 Environmental Effects Wednesday Oct 26
(Ex 23, 24, & 25)
3 Control of Microbial Growth Friday Nov 4
(Ex 43, & 44)
4 Hand Washing Experiment Friday Nov 18
5 Identification of Unknown Friday Dec 9
Extra credit points are available for anyone with the energy and courage to take advantage of
them. Up to 20 points can be added to your lecture score by writing a research paper on one of
the following diseases, and then presenting a brief, informal summary to the class. The oral
presentation does not affect the grading, but is a means of sharing interesting and curious
information. The paper should be approximately 4 pages long, typed, double spaced with no
typos or grammatical errors.
Hepatitis B or C
West Nile Fever
E. coli Food Poisoning
‘Mad Cow Disease’/Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy
BIOL 251 General Microbiology (4) A laboratory and lecture course emphasizing taxonomy,
morphology, physiology, infectious diseases, and ecology of microorganisms in addition to skills
in aseptic procedures, isolation, and identification. Open to all life science majors and allied
health majors. Prerequisite: BIOL 190 or equivalent.
To provide a strong basis of microbiological knowledge including: the characteristics and
classification of microbes; microbial metabolism; microbes and disease; molecular genetics;
and interactions between microbes and the environment.
In the laboratory component, students will acquire a working knowledge of sterile techniques,
media preparation, staining, microbial metabolism, and the isolation and identification of
microbes. This knowledge base will be directly applied to the analysis of a variety of hands
Students will be able to apply knowledge and skills gained in a variety of situations: use of
aseptic technique in clinical and laboratory environments; identification of unknown organisms;
evaluation of risks associated with a variety of pathogenic microbes; comprehension of molecular
genetics and biotechnology;
of the basic factual content of biology, including relevant principles of chemistry, physics, and
geology. Beyond this factual base, students will be expected to comprehend this information
sufficiently to analyze and evaluate simple biologic situations that have not been directly
explicated in lecture or laboratory.
Students will be assessed with three distinct tools: multiple choice lecture exams; laboratory
practical exams; and a written report on a laboratory experience. The lecture exams are designed
to test the students ability to recall matters stated in lecture and the text, define key terms, and
use concepts in a meaningful way. Laboratory practicals will asses both visual and textural
recall, as well as provide the opportunity for analysis and evaluation of concepts introduced in
lab with lecture information. The lab report will asses how well students have comprehended
and synthesized a key laboratory experience, as well as their ability to communicate these
concepts via the written word.