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Microbial Ecology Topics

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Week 1: What is Microbial Ecology?

Monday 1/31
 

  1. What is ecology? Microbial ecology?
  2. What are the questions an ecologist concerns themselves with?
    • What organisms are present?
    • Abundance?
    • Stability of system - change?
    • What CAUSES these changes?
    • What factors determine the composition of an ecosystem?
    • What interactions characterize the system?
  3. Discuss 10 principles of ecology
    • In what ways would you modify these principles to reflect the subject of microbial ecology?
  4. Does the study of pure cultures (Microbiology) give us a good picture of microbes in the environment? Why or why not? 
  5. Diagram out interactions that a microorganism has; list examples
    • Abiotic environment
    • Population
    • Community: Other species
    • plant/animal hosts
  6. How do microbes shape their environment?
  7. How does the abiotic environment and the community shape a microbe?
  8. Adaptation
  9. Selection
  10. What microbial processes are important? Why do they matter?
    • Sensory systems
    • Metabolism & metabolites
    • Trophic pyramids
    • Microbial genetics, HGT
    • Microbial taxonomy - species concept & ecotypes
    • Microbial growth patterns
      • Resilience & persistence; sporulation
      • Biofilms
      • Rapid asexual growth & change
  11. How do you study microbial ecology? (Ch 5)Scientific literature: Case study - Piscotta et al.
  12. Preview of semester