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BB40117: Microbial evolution - from the laboratory to nature

[Page last updated: 15 October 2020]

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2020/1
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Biology & Biochemistry
Further information on credits Credits: 6      [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Further information on notional study hours Notional Study Hours: 120
Further information on unit levels Level: Masters UG & PG (FHEQ level 7)
Further information on teaching periods Period:
Semester 2
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: CW 10%, EX 50%, SM 40%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Seminar (SM 40%)
  • Handout (CW 10%)
  • Examination (EX 50%)
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment:
Re-assessment Essay (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites: Before taking this module you are advised to take BB20040 (or equivalent units authorised by the Director of Studies).
Description: Aims:
To provide the students with an holistic understanding of the causes and consequences of microbial evolution, by consideration of both experimental and wild populations.

Learning Outcomes:
After taking this course the student should be able to:
* explain basic population genetics principles and phylogenetic methods with respect to bacteria;
* explain the major mechanisms of bacterial molecular evolution; in particular the significance of mobile genetic elements and horizontal gene transfer;
* explain the rationale and applications of microbial experimental evolution;
* describe the insights provided by microbial studies into the ecological and genetic causes of evolution;
* integrate methodology and data from epidemiological case studies with theory and experimental data.

Skills:
Learning and studying T/F/A, Written communication T/F/A, Oral communication T/F/A, Information handling & retrieval T/F/A, Working independently T/F.

Content:
The main forces shaping bacterial populations, the different kinds of selection pressures, mutation and stochastic forces. The consequences of evolutionary forces over different time scales, from intra-species variation (micro-evolution), to the differences between unrelated species (macro-evolution), and the relevance to the management and epidemiological surveillance of important human pathogens. The relationships between ecology, evolution and epidemiology. Design and analysis of laboratory selection experiments. Theory and data explaining the evolution and maintenance of diversity, the evolution of evolvability, the evolution of altruism, the evolution of virulence and host-parasite coevolution.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

BB40117 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Biology & Biochemistry
  • USBB-AFB03 : BSc(Hons) Biology (Year 3)
  • USBB-AKB07 : BSc(Hons) Biology with Professional Placement (Year 4)
  • USBB-AKB08 : BSc(Hons) Molecular and Cellular Biology with Professional Placement (Year 4)
Department of Mathematical Sciences Programmes in Natural Sciences
  • UXXX-AFM01 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Biology with Chemistry stream) (Year 4)
  • UXXX-AAM02 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Biology with Chemistry stream) with Study year abroad (Year 5)
  • UXXX-AKM02 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Biology with Chemistry stream) with Professional Placement (Year 5)
  • UXXX-AFM01 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Biology with Pharmacology stream) (Year 4)
  • UXXX-AAM02 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Biology with Pharmacology stream) with Study year abroad (Year 5)
  • UXXX-AKM02 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Biology with Pharmacology stream) with Professional Placement (Year 5)
  • UXXX-AFM01 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Biology with Physics stream) (Year 4)
  • UXXX-AAM02 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Biology with Physics stream) with Study year abroad (Year 5)
  • UXXX-AKM02 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Biology with Physics stream) with Professional Placement (Year 5)
  • UXXX-AFM01 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Chemistry with Biology stream) (Year 4)
  • UXXX-AAM02 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Chemistry with Biology stream) with Study year abroad (Year 5)
  • UXXX-AKM02 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Chemistry with Biology stream) with Professional Placement (Year 5)
  • UXXX-AFM01 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Physics with Biology stream) (Year 4)
  • UXXX-AAM02 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Physics with Biology stream) with Study year abroad (Year 5)
  • UXXX-AKM02 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Physics with Biology stream) with Professional Placement (Year 5)

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