Course Description

Course Name

Molecular Microbiology

Session: VDNS3121

Hours & Credits

18 Credit Points

Prerequisites & Language Level

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.


The bacterial nucleoid and its influence on gene expression. Molecular mechanisms by which bacteria adapt to environmental change. Regulation of gene expression by proteins and small RNAs. Pathogen evolution.
Molecular Microbiology is highly relevant to all aspects of modern microbiology. MICR 335 will provide a fundamental knowledge of the mechanisms that bacteria use to sense their environment and adapt their gene expression to optimize their growth and survival. This course, emphasizes general principles and illustrates their application with topical examples. Lectures are complemented by a laboratory course which will help you develop skills in scientific record-keeping and reporting. A research project will provide hands-on experience with many of the skills and techniques that are used in a microbial genetics laboratory.

Course Structure
The lecture course is divided into a number of modules, some of which change from year to year, reflecting topical issues in microbiology.

Modules in 2015 were:
-General overview of genetic regulatory mechanisms (9 lectures)
-Global regulation of respiration and molecular responses to oxidative stress (6 lectures)
-Stationary phase adaptation and small non-coding RNAs (4 lectures)
-Riboswitches and bacterial RNA maturation (4 lectures)
-Special Topic: Regulation of bacterial motility by c-di-GMP (2 lectures)

The lecture course is complemented by a laboratory course that aims to help students develop research skills relevant to molecular microbiology.

-Laboratory report 25% (due at the end of week 5 of the semester, one week after the final lab)
-Internet-based gene assignment 5% (given out in week 3 of the semester; due Monday before Easter break)
-Final exam 70%

Learning Outcomes
Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of central concepts and current developments in molecular microbiology

Text books are not required for this course.
Course readings are reviews and original papers from the literature. PDFs of these will be placed on Blackboard.

*Course content subject to change