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Year of entry: 2023
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Course unit details:
Fundamentals of Bacteriology
|Unit level||Level 2|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 1|
|Available as a free choice unit?||No|
Fundamentals of Bacteriology will provide you with a detailed understanding of bacterial cell structure including a particular focus on the cell surface. These surface-located structures mediate a variety of functions (motility, signalling and sensing, transport and attachment) and these will be discussed in some detail. . You will also be introduced to the key emerging technological developments, such as next generation sequencing and the concept of the microbiome as well as the role of CRISPR as a bacterial defence system.
|Unit title||Unit code||Requirement type||Description|
|Microbes, Humankind and the Environment||BIOL10532||Pre-Requisite||Recommended|
This unit will provide students with a comprehensive overview of bacterial cell structure/function with a particular focus on the key cell surface components., The major signalling and sensing systems will also be discussed. Students will also be introduced to key emerging technological developments such as next generation sequencing, the concept of the microbiome and the CRISPR defence system.
Students will appreciate and be able to describe:
• The detailed molecular structure and functioning of the key components of the bacterial cell particularly the cell surface
• How to use online tools to investigate protein structure
• The principal sensing and regulatory mechanisms employed by bacteria
• The concept of the microbiome and its significance
• The role of CRISPR as a defence system and its applications
• Cell envelopes: Cell envelope structure of Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria, peptidoglycan, LPS, S-layers,
• Cell division & cell shape: processes involved in cell division & variety of cell shapes
• Motility: Structure and function of flagella, and control via chemotaxis systems.
• Bacterial signalling and sensing: Sporulation in Gram-positive bacteria, quorum sensing and two component regulatory systems
• Structures associated with bacterial outer membrane: OMPs and porins, pili/fimbriae
• Protein secretion systems: diversity of pathways for protein secretion in Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria
• DNA uptake systems
• The emergence of the microbiome concept through next generation sequencing technologies
• The role of CRISPR as a bacterial defence system and its significance as a genome editing tool
MCQ-based formative and summative assessments will be delivered online via Blackboard
- Opportunity to be creative in terms of how students address data analysis coursework. Face to face active learning sessions throughout the course will focus on developing scientific interpretation and analysis skills.
- Students are encouraged to read around the lecture material and up to date review articles are recommended in lectures. Students will study in detail a number of primary research papers as part of the course. Key online skills in investigating protein structures will also be developed in dedicated sessions.
- Written communication
- Students will be required to write essay and short answer questions as part of final examination
A 2 hour written examination comprising of short answer questions (50% of exam mark) and a single essay from a choice of three (50% of exam mark). Exam makes up 80% of unit mark.
The two MCQ based summative assessments will develop data analysis skills through detailed investigations of research data relevant to course content (20% of unit mark).
All face-to-face sessions will be active learning based providing considerable opportunities for feedback over the length of the course. The MCQ-based coursework will also provide feedback when marked. Individual feedback on exam performance will be made available through a drop-in session run by the unit coordinator. There will also be an opportunity to write a practice exam essay/short answer prior to exam and again individual feedback will be provided by course coordinator.
Up-to-date review articles recommended in lectures.
Brock Biology of Microorganisms - Fifteenth edition. Michael T Madigan et al. (2018)
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Assessment written exam||2|
|Independent study hours|
|James Linton||Unit coordinator|