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Department of Biology & Biochemistry, Unit Catalogue 2011/12

BB40117: Microbial evolution - from the laboratory to nature

Click here for further information Credits: 6
Click here for further information Level: Masters UG & PG (FHEQ level 7)
Click here for further information Period: Semester 2
Click here for further information Assessment: CW 10%, EX 50%, SM 40%
Click here for further information Supplementary Assessment: Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Click here for further information Requisites: Before taking this unit you must take BB20040 (or equivalent units authorised by the Director of Studies).
Click here for further information 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.

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.

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.
Click here for further informationProgramme availability:

BB40117 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Biology & Biochemistry
  • USBB-AFB03 : BSc (hons) Biology (Full-time) - Year 3
  • USBB-AKB07 : BSc (hons) Biology with Professional Placement (Full-time with Thick Sandwich Placement) - Year 4
  • USBB-AFB05 : BSc (hons) Molecular and Cellular Biology (Full-time) - Year 3
  • USBB-AKB08 : BSc (hons) Molecular and Cellular Biology with Professional Placement (Full-time with Thick Sandwich Placement) - Year 4
  • USBB-AKM05 : MBiol (hons) Molecular and Cellular Biology (Full-time with Thick Sandwich Placement) - Year 4
  • RSBB-AFM07 : Integrated PhD Postgenomic Biosciences (Biosciences Route) (Full-time) - Year 1
  • RSBB-AFM15 : Integrated PhD Postgenomic Biosciences (Evolutionary Biology Route) (Full-time) - Year 1
  • RSBB-AFM16 : Integrated PhD Postgenomic Biosciences (Molecular Microbiology Route) (Full-time) - Year 1
  • TSBB-AFM03 : MRes Biosciences (Full-time) - Year 1
  • TSBB-AFM15 : MRes Evolutionary Biology (Full-time) - Year 1
  • TSBB-AFM16 : MRes Molecular Microbiology (Full-time) - Year 1
  • TSBB-AFM06 : MSc Biosciences (Full-time) - Year 1
  • TSBB-AFM08 : MSc Evolutionary and Population Biology (Full-time) - Year 1
  • TSBB-AFM10 : MSc Molecular Microbiology (Full-time) - Year 1
Programmes in Natural Sciences
  • UXXX-AFM01 : MSci (hons) Natural Sciences (Full-time) - Year 4
Department of Mathematical Sciences
  • TSXX-AFM01 : MSc Mathematical Biology (Full-time) - Year 1

NB. Programmes and units are subject to change at any time, in accordance with normal University procedures.