MB 351: General Microbiology

Instructor: Markéta Marečková
Credits: 3
GEP: Natural Sciences

*Prerequisite: One Biology course [BIO 181, BIO 183, ZO 150 or ZO 160] and one Organic Chemistry course [CH 221 or CH 220]

Course Description

Rigorous introduction to basic principles of microbiology for students in biological and agricultural sciences and for all students planning to take further courses in microbiology.

The basic knowledge on biology will be extended to microbes. Three domains of life will be described from the phylogenetic and morphological perspectives to understand how they are defined and how they share functions in nature. Central dogma of molecular biology will be presented as a basis for development of modern molecular tools. Microbial life in communities and environmental factors determining their structure in major biomes, soil, water, plant and animal body will be recognized. Microbes and their activities will be also described as harmful in disease, and beneficial in products for medicine, industry and agriculture. Attention will be paid to discussing how a scientific hypothesis can be stated, supported using literature and proved by experiments.

Learning Outcomes

1. Knowledge. Students will extend and practice their knowledge on biology in new situations related to microbial life:

  • To discriminate between phylogeny and taxonomy in microorganisms. To know what are the methods used in microorganism determination. What the problems are and how to resolve them in the future.
  • Central dogma. To realize the unity of life and recognize the importance of information molecules in molecular methods.
  • Diversity of microbial metabolism. To connect different microbial  metabolisms with responsible taxa, location in nature and function in respective nutrient cycling. To identify electron donors, acceptors, carbon source and respiration types for different microbial guilds.
  • Secondary metabolites, why they are not secondary and what roles they have in microbial communities and populations. Their role in human life.

2. Science. Students will be encouraged to work in groups, particularly in the laboratory to demonstrate that science is a team work. One small group (3-4) will suggest discussion subjects, results interpretation, but also develop one own experiment for the laboratory to learn how to select the most promising subjects and approaches to resolve them.

  • Data versus models – what is the difference and how to understand scientific results.
  • To find relevant information and evaluate quality of resource.
  • To determine the proper scale and method for a microbial experiment.