Syllabus for Microbial Regulatory Mechanisms

Mikrobiella reglermekanismer

Syllabus

  • 5 credits
  • Course code: 1MB431
  • Education cycle: Second cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Technology A1F, Molecular Biotechnology A1F
  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass with credit (4), Pass with distinction (5)
  • Established: 2010-03-16
  • Established by:
  • Revised: 2018-08-30
  • Revised by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Applies from: week 30, 2019
  • Entry requirements: 120 credits inclusive Mikrobiology and 5 credits on advanced level. Completed Macromolecular Machines.
  • Responsible department: Biology Education Centre

Learning outcomes

This course focuses on regulatory mechanisms that microbes - primarily bacteria - employ in
responses to physiological or environmental changes.

On completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  • understand the special conditions of life of importance for bacteria
  • understand, in general and in mechanistic detail, how the adaptations of microbes to
    changed internal and external environments result from adaptive responses
  • understand and explain in detail how regulatory mechanisms work at the
    transcriptional and post-transcriptional level
  • have a good insight into the relationships between environmental signalling, molecular
    mechanisms of gene regulation, and physiological responses at a cellular or population level
  • understand the importance of extrachromosomal elements for gene flow and the
    acquisition of new traits
  • understand the special properties of plasmids, in particular concerning stable
    maintenance and replication control
  • have a good insight into the increasing significance of RNA-mediated control of gene
    expression and its mechanisms of action
  • understand primary publications, in general and in specific detail, and develop the
    skills to summarise, discuss, and critically analyse their content and evaluate their
    conclusions
  • analyse critically, interpret and evaluate, and summarise obtained experimental
    results

Content

This course is mainly focused on mechanisms of gene expression that form the basis for
adaptive responses in bacteria. In this course the following questions will be addressed.
Overview of and deeper insights into the particular life conditions that are relevant for
bacteria. Focus on conditions such as starvation, bacterial stress, differentiation processes and
virulence. Understanding how changes in the internal and external environment determine
phenotypic changes. In-depth analysis and understanding of connections between signals that
are received by bacteria and regulation of gene expression that is required to meet
physiological requirements and to mount adaptive responses. Levels of gene regulation:
trancriptional regulation (DNA level) by activator and repressor proteins, post-transcriptional
regulation at the mRNA level, with emphasis on regulatory RNAs and cis-acting RNA
elements (riboswitches). Bacterial differentiation - sporulation. Bacterial communication -
quorum sensing. Gene transfer between bacteria, the horizontal gene pool, plasmids and other
extrachromosomal elements. RNA-based acquired immunity against invading DNA in
bacteria and archea (CRISPR/cas).
Practical lab work will be based on recent research in the subject area.

Instruction

Teaching comprises lectures, seminars, lab practicals and site visits. Participation in seminars, lab practicals and lectures
connected to them, is compulsory.

Assessment

Written examination (3 credits), seminars (1 credit), laboratory practicals (1 credit). 
 
If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the disability coordinator of the university.

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: week 30, 2019