BIOU5MI: Microbiology

CO-ORDINATOR: Dr Michael Wyman


Mondays (0900, LTV1), Tuesdays (1000, LT2V1), and Fridays (1000, LT2V1) weeks 2-6 and 8-11 inclusive.


Tuesdays 1400-1800 in weeks 2, 4, 6, and 8. Practicals will be held in 2U2.


Coursework - 40% (3 practical write-ups weighted at 10, 15 and 15%), Reports should be handed in to the SBES office no later than two weeks after the practical session.
Written examination - 60% (1 short answer paper and 1 essay weighted 30% and 30% respectively).

Lecture Programme


  • Bacterial Structure and Composition (Chapter 4)
  • Microbial Growth and Nutrition (Chapters 5, 6)
  • Energy Generation and Biosynthesis (Chapters 20, 21)
  • Classification of Microorganisms (Chapter 14)
  • Viruses (Chapter 10)
  • DNA Replication, Transcription and Translation in Bacteria (Chapter 7)
  • Bacterial Cell Cycle and Growth Regulation of Macromolecular Composition (Chapters 6, 9)
  • Microbial Differentiation (Chapter 9) and Bacterial Genetics (Chapter 11)

Practical Classes

The practical classes contribute to the essential scientific training of students in experimental technique and laboratory safety as well as to the overall assessment of the module. Failure to attend the practicals would mean that these objectives could not be achieved and therefore all practical classes are prescribed.

Introduction to microbiological techniques. Safety in the laboratory. Examination and identification of microorganisms. Isolation and culture of microorganisms. Measurement of bacterial growth rates. Assessed Practical (10%)

Microbial Differentiation - Requirements for the Germination and Outgrowth of Bacterial Endospores. Assessed Practical (15%)

Genetic Manipulation of Bacteria. Transformation, transposition and conjugation
Assessed Practical (15%)

Practical classes commence promptly at 1400 and in some instances extend over more than one day. Lab coats must be worn during practical classes and students will not be allowed to remain in the laboratory if they do not comply with this safety requirement.


All students should be familiar with the basic structure and function of the various macromolecules found within living organisms. Chapter 3 of the text by Madigan et al. provides an excellent refresher as does Unit 1 of Campbell and Reece (7th edition)

Madigan et al. (2009) Brock: Biology of Microorganisms (12th edition) Prentice Hall (R) n.b. Chapters relevant to specific sections of the course are given above where appropriate £49.99

Baker S. et al. (2006) Instant Notes in Microbiology (3rd edition) Taylor-Francis (R) £19.99

Earlier editions of these texts can be found at much cheaper prices on eBay or at and these are helpful also. In addition the library has a range of other microbiology texts including, for example, Prescotts Principles of Microbiology.

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