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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Jimmie Cano Lara
Seattle Campus

Fundamentals of General Microbiology I

Survey of the microbial world, metabolism, biosynthesis, regulation, growth, structure, and function. Required for students majoring in microbiology; recommended for students majoring in biology. Prerequisite: minimum grade of 2.3 in BIOL 200; either CHEM 223, CHEM 237, or CHEM 335. Offered: A.

Class description

Microbiology 410 is the first of 3 courses offered by the Department of Microbiology that deal not only with the basic biology of procaryotic cells, but also the viruses, called bacteriophage or phage, that infect bacteria. Topics covered in Micro 410, a required course for microbiology undergraduate majors, surveys the general properties of bacteria and their phages without focusing on any one bacterial or phage group. Topics include the structural organization of a bacterial cell, growth, metabolism, the replication and expression of genetic information and its regulation, chemotaxis, phage replication strategies, and mechanism of gene transfer. The goal of this course is for students to have a better appreciation and understanding of (1) why bacteria have been so success in colonizing every imaginable ecological niche on earth, (2) how important and essential bacteria are in our biosphere, and (3) why bacteria have been the experimental organisms of choice to study the life processes occurring in cellular organisms.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

A large lecture format is used by Drs. Lara and Traxler to teach Micro 410 (offered only Fall Quarter). Readings from a required text are used to reinforce and supplement lecture information. Instructors encourage students to ask questions during the lecture and to take advantage of their office hours. Course information may be obtained by visiting their Micro 410 website (

Recommended preparation

Biology 201 and either Chemistry 223, Chem 237, or Chem 335 (or their equivalent) are prerequisites for the course. Instructors assume that students have retained a basic understanding of the eucaryotic cell and organic molecules. Strong note-taking skills and study habits, the ability to assimilate and analyze a large body of scientific information and make extrapolations using the information presented, and having the initiative to seek assistance are key to success.

Class assignments and grading

Lecture attendance is expected. Topic reading assignments and lecture outlines are available from syllabus on website. Students are encouraged to have read/reviewed this material before coming to class.

Grade are based on studentsí performance on two midterm and a comprehensive final. Exam questions are for the most part multiple choice in design. The final grade assignments are calculated by first determining the average score of the top 5 undergraduates in course. This score represents the 100% mark by which other students grades will be determined. Because the course is not graded on a curve it is possible for everyone to get a 4.0, but historically the average grade has been approximately a 2.8.

The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Additional Information
Last Update by Jimmie Cano Lara
Date: 08/07/1998