Each of the text’s seven units features experimental protocols and essential background information, giving students the tools and context needed to formulate hypotheses, conduct experiments, and gather data. Written assignments associated with the readings for each unit challenge students to analyze experimental data, interpret results, and evaluate conclusions. This coursework gives students an opportunity to practice scientific process skills that can be applied to their own projects. As their research progresses, students master basic techniques in microbiology, molecular biology, and bioinformatics, learning how to troubleshoot problems that typically arise in collaborative investigations.
This text was written for undergraduate courses in microbiology, microbial ecology, molecular evolution of microbes, and microbial genomics. The entire research project can be completed in as few as 10 weeks, with students divided into groups and with tasks divided among group members. In short, this text gives students an unparalleled experience, preparing them to take on research projects in any working lab.
· Features detailed, well constructed experimental protocols that enable students to generate results in a short period of time
· Develops the skills that students need to initiate, conduct, and interpret the results of actual research projects
· Gives students valuable experience using contemporary methods to evaluate scientific hypotheses and communicate results
· Offers a unique, hands-on approach that emphasizes experimentation and critical thinking to learn core concepts in microbial genomics, microbial ecology, and molecular evolution
· Underscores the value of developing working relationships with other scientists
· Builds an appreciation and understanding of the ubiquity of microbes and the great diversity of the microbial world
Unit 1: Soil Collection and Compositional Analysis
Unit 2: Cultivation-Dependent Community Analysis
Unit 3: Molecular Analysis of Cultivated Bacterial Communities
Unit 4: Phenotypic Characterization of Bacterial Isolates
Unit 5: Cultivation-Independent Community Analysis of Soil Microbiomes
Unit 6: Bioinformatics Analysis of 16S rRNA Genes
Unit 7: Molecular Evolution: Phylogenetic Analysis of 16SrRNA Genes
Appendix I: Media, Supplies, and Equipment
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