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Course Description

BS4474: Microbial Ecology
This course is designed to introduce students to the study of microbial ecosystems its structure and function using applied learning approach modeling the scientific research process. In the lecture component students will be introduced to ecological theory in the context of the laboratory experimentation. The aim is to model the inquiry based learning process fundamental to the scientific endeavor. As part of their investigation the students will learn about ecosystem structure, i.e. biotic and abiotic components, and function, i.e. symbiotic interactions and food webs. As part of the biotic component of the ecosystem, the students will focus on the study of a microbiome using both traditional microbiology and next generation sequencing methodology, i.e. microscopy, isolation using generalized and selective media, and molecular techniques: DNA isolation from environmental samples, PCR amplification using specific primers, i.e. 16S rDNA, and sequence analysis. This course fulfills the population core requirement for the BA and BS in Biology, and can also be used as one of the upper division biology course requirement in the BS in Bioninformatics and Computational Biology. This course is recommended for students who plan to pursue a career in basic science or biomedical research, and the health profession. Prerequisite: BS2400/BS2401-2410/BS2411 with a grade of C or better.

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