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Isabelle De Castro 
(954) 262-3697
Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography
8000 North Ocean Drive
Dania Beach, FL 33004

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Course Numbers: OCMB - 6010 and BMME - 6770

Microbial populations evolve and adapt to their surroundings in rapid and facile ways. This course is designed to familiarize the evolution/ecology/microbiology student with an understanding of the evolutionary genetic mechanisms that govern diversity of the microbial world with a particular emphasis on bacterial species and strains.  Numerous genetic mechanisms will be discussed that can rapidly diversify or homogenize bacterial populations including hypermutation, recombination, and the selective deletion of DNA.  Many of these adaptive changes lead to the acquisition of dangerous traits among bacteria including enhanced virulence attributes, multi-drug resistance, and unusual tolerance to environmental insults. In addition, methods and assays capable of detecting and measuring these kinds of evolutionary changes among bacterial species and strains will be reviewed.  Finally, a survey of analytical approaches currently deployed for ascertaining population and evolutionary diversity within a bacterial population will be undertaken.

Learning objectives

Upon completion of this course, the upper-level student of ecology, evolution, and/or microbiology will be able to:

Textbook: Required

R.Mills and M. Day Microbial Evolution: Gene Establishment, Survival, and Exchange ASM Press, 2004. ISBN 978-1-55581-271-3

Summer 2014 Syllabus