|Delivery Type||Delivery length / details|
|Lecture||17 x 1 h lectures|
|Practical||4 x 3 hours practicals (duplicated)|
|Assessment Type||Assessment length / details||Proportion|
|Semester Assessment||Continuous assessment of practicals via multiple choice tests.||30%|
|Semester Exam||2 Hours written semester examination.||70%|
|Supplementary Assessment||2 Hours 2 hour written examination; re-submission of failed course work.||100%|
On completion of the module the student should be able to
- evaluate the importance of micro-organisms in biogeochemical cycling and biotechnology
- explain how micro-organisms interact with other organisms, including humans, as pathogens and mutualists.
- describe the diversity of life forms within the eukaryotic and prokaryotic micro-organisms
- demonstrate practical skills in handling micro-organisms
The prokaryotic Bacteria and Archaea are introduced, emphasising morphology, physiology and ecology and concluding with examination of their role in human diseases. The structure and life cycles of viruses are explored and their role in disease and ecosystem function is investigated.
The kingdom Fungi is introduced through a survey of the major groups. This set of lectures discusses the classification of living organisms are classified and the diversity of form, genetic systems and life strategies. Fungal growth is examined beginning with the hyphal tip and ending with a discussion of the organisation of the fungal mycelium. This section of the module concludes with an overview of the role of fungi in terrestrial decomposition, in plant disease and as mutualistic symbionts of plants and animals.
The final section of the course explores the diversity of form and function of photosynthetic micro-organisms, introducing both photosynthetic prokaryotes and eukaryotes (algae). Cell ultrastructure, morphology, growth and reproduction, nitrogen fixation and heterocyst function in cyanobacteria are then considered.
Practical classes illustrate and consolidate aspects of the lecture course. Students will use light microscopy to examine a range of micro-organisms. Students will gain key skills in the safe handling of micro-organisms through simple experimental investigations. By the end of the course students will have acquired basic knowledge of sterile handling techniques by the end of the course. Video microscopy is extensively used to help in interpretation of the practical material. Practicals are assessed by means of tests within the practical classes.
This module is designed to introduce students to the diversity of microbial life and the importance of micro-organisms as pathogens, as mutualists (e.g. animal digestive systems, mycorrhizas etc.) in biotechnology (food manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, etc.) and in ecosystem function.
Reading ListRecommended Text
Campbell, N. and Reece, J. (2005) Biology 7 Benjamin Cummings Publishers Primo search Reference Text
Deacon, J. W. (1999.) Modern mycology /J.W. Deacon. Blackwell Scientific Primo search Madigan, Michael T. (2006.) Brock biology of microorganisms /Michael T. Madigan, John M. Martinko. Pearson Education Primo search
This module is at CQFW Level 4