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Blinn College • Bryan • Natural Science • Biology - BIOL

Microbiology BIOL-2421

  • Spring 2013
  • Section SECTION_308 CRN-20832
  • 4 Credits
  • 01/14/2013 to 05/07/2013
  • Modified 01/09/2013

Meeting Times

Lecture - Room S210 (TR 5:40 – 6:55 pm)

Laboratory - Room S212 (TR 7:05 – 8:20 pm)

Contact Information

INSTRUCTOR:  Dr. Chris Allen

Email:  eCampus mail

Tel:  979-209-8803

Office Hours:  Tuesday and Thursday  4:15 – 5:15, and by appointment

Office:  S-117


An introduction to the study of bacteria and other microorganisms. Topics include fundamentals of microbiology, microbial control, microbiology in everyday life, infection and host resistance and pathogenic organisms. Laboratory is devoted to various culturing and staining techniques.


Prerequisites: BIOL 1406 with a grade of "C" or better. CHEM 1407 is recommended.

Core Curriculum Statement

This is a Core Course in the 42-Hour Core Curriculum of Blinn College. As such, students will develop proficiency in the appropriate Intellectual Competencies, Exemplary Educational Objectives, and Perspectives.


1. Summarize a history of microbiology.

2. Describe the different types of cell and colony morphologies.

3. Interpret selected metabolic processes carried out by cells and their essential role in sustaining life.

4. Discuss the differences between a virus and a living organism.

5. Identify the etiologic agent responsible for the pathogenesis of various diseases and describe the symptoms of these diseases and the response by the human immune system.

6. Use various physical and chemical means for microbial control.

7. Demonstrate the proficiency in using oil immersion technique.

8. Analyze pure and mixed microbial specimens using determinative bacteriological techniques.



Textbook: Alcamo’s Fundamentals of Microbiology, 9th Edition, Pommervile, J.C. 2010, Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

Lab Manual: BIOL 2421 Microbiology Laboratory Manual, 1st Edition. McNeil, M., Sharpe-Aparicio, E. and Sharpe, V., Bluedoor, LLC, 2012.



Textbook: Alcamo’s Fundamentals of Microbiology, 9th Edition, 2011. Jeffrey C. Pommerville, Jones and Bartlett Publishers, Sudbury, MA

Lab Manual: Microbiology in Practice, Custom Edition for Blinn College

  • Laboratory Items:

–        Laboratory Coat – available at Blinn bookstore (disposable), career apparel stores

–        Inoculating Loop – single use, available at Blinn bookstore

–        Microscope Slides – box of 100 available at Blinn bookstore; box of 25 available at Traditions

Plastic Shoebox, Masking Tape, Sharpie Marker

Course Requirements

Lecture Exams:

  • There will be 4 lecture exams each worth 100 points.  Only the top 3 exam grades will be counted.
  • On average, exams will cover 6 chapters and will include material covered up through the lecture period before each exam.
  • Exams may include multiple choice questions, short-answer questions, fill-in-the-blank, labeling diagrams, or essay questions.
  • All exams will be closed-book and closed-note and all electronic devices, including cell phones, must be turned off.
  • You will need a #2 pencil and a blank AccuScan Advantage Form #28980 (available @ Blinn Bookstore or Learning Center).
  • There are NO scheduled “make-up” lecture exams.  Any missed exam will count as the dropped exam.
  • After grading, the most-missed questions will be reviewed by the instructor during class.  You are encouraged come to my office during office hours to review any exams that you wish.


Laboratory Practical Assessments:

  • There will be 3 practical assessments of your understanding of laboratory procedures each worth 100 points. Only the top 2 exam grades will be counted.
  • These assessments will cover material previously covered in lab and will consist of short answer, fill-in-the-blank, or labeling questions. Rarely will you see multiple choice options and there will not be a word bank.
  • There are no scheduled “make-up” lab exams. Any missed exam will count as the dropped exam.


Class Participation:

Almost every week in class, there will be lecture quizzes, in-class assignments, homework assignments, or in-class discussions that will be used to measure your understanding of material that is being presented in lecture or lab. It is your responsibility as a student to be prepared every day for a possible assignment or in-class discussion and to keep up with the lecture and lab material.

  • Lecture Quizzes - These assessments will cover material from a previous lecture or assigned readings.  These in-class activities will be closed book and closed notes.  Each Lecture Quiz will be worth 10 points total for a total of 100 points towards your total points for the semester.  There will be twelve quizzes total, but only the top ten quizzes will be counted.  A grade of zero will be recorded for missed assessments, and there will be no “make-ups” offered.
  • Lab Homework – Most lab worksheets and review questions will be completed during the lab period or at home as a way for you to measure your understanding.  Some lab worksheets will require observation of bacteriological growth the following day before they can be completed.  It is your responsibility to complete these lab worksheets and review questions in preparation for possible grading by the instructor.  There will be a minimum of 10 lab assignments collected throughout the semester.  Each lab is worth five points for a total of 50 points towards your total points for the semester.  If more than 10 lab assignments are taken up and graded, then the lowest lab assignments will be dropped.  Lab homework assignments that are turned in for a grade will be due at the beginning of the laboratory period.  Late assignments will not be accepted.  If you missed class and therefore missed turning in an assignment, that assignment will not be accepted upon your return (unless for an official Blinn excused absence).  There will be no makeup for missed assignments.


Identification of Bacteriological Unknowns:

Unknown bacterial organisms will be assigned to you during the semester. Your job will be to determine the genus and species of each unknown using techniques that you will learn in lab.

  • Gram Positive & Gram Negative Unknowns –These two unknowns will be group projects in which students will work together to:
  1. learn the diagnostic techniques utilized in classical determinative bacteriology, and
  2. identify the genus and species name of each unknown organism.


However, each student will be responsible for learning all of the techniques and will turn in an individual report.


  • Final Unknown – One organism, either Gram Positive or Gram Negative, will be handed out to each student individually.  Students will be responsible for determining the genus and species name of the assigned organism using techniques covered in lab and learned during group unknown work.  The final unknown report is worth 100 points.
  • Further details on the Unknown Reports are covered in Lab 31 and will be further discussed in class.  For these reports, a report form will be provided to the student by the instructor.  Reports must include the following in order to receive full credit:
  1. Completed report form for each organism.
  2. Word document containing color photographs of all chemical reactions, isolated cultures and stains. All pictures must also have detailed figure legends.


  • Five points from group unknowns and 10 points from the individual unknown will be deducted from your lab report grade if you are absent/late when unknown organisms are handed out.  Other deductions may result due to student negligence and/or re-isolation of an unknown organism.
  • Unknown reports are always due at the beginning of Lecture on the assigned due date.  Late unknown reports will NOT be accepted.  If you know that you will be absent on one of the due dates, you may turn in your report early.  Lab Reports will be graded in a timely fashion, but please allow at least 1 week.

All unknown work and inoculations will be done in lab under instructor supervision.  Budget your time accordingly to meet assignment deadlines.  A microscope study area has been set aside for you to view prepared slides outside of the scheduled lab times.  This study area is for microscope use only, no inoculations or slide-preparation will be allowed.



Monday – Thursday: 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 pm

Saturday, Sunday and School Holidays: Building Closed







Final Exam:  The Final is a mandatory departmental comprehensive exam worth 200 points.  It will consist of 100 -125 multiple choice questions.  There will be no separate laboratory final; the lecture final will include questions from the laboratory material (85% lecture material, 15% lab material).All students must take the final examination at their designated time. If you miss the final exam, a grade of zero will be recorded. There will be no final exam make-ups, no exceptions.


            FINAL EXAM Section 306:  Thursday, May 2 from 3:15 – 5:15 pm in S-210


Preparation:  I expect you to spend time after each class to study and review your notes, read assigned chapters and labs before coming to class, and complete any offered study materials.  A course schedule containing a list of the topics and chapters to be covered has been provided.  You are required to get a textbook and a lab manual.  There is a lot of material to be covered in this course and we may not get to all of the material in the textbook in class, but you will still be responsible for the assigned chapters on an exam.  Because of the quantity of material to be covered, do not fall behind in your readings.  Also, because BIOL 1406 is a prerequisite, it is expected that students are already familiar with and understand the following topics:


  • Chemical Bonding and Organic Macromolecules
  • Eukaryotic Cell Structure and Function
  • Eukaryotic Metabolism including Enzyme Structure and Function, Energy Carrier Molecules, Catabolism and Anabolism
  • DNA Replication
  • RNA Transcription and Protein Synthesis


If you do not feel confident with these topics, then it is suggested that students review their notes from 1406 and/or make use of the additional resources and review materials that will be posted online.  Since students are expected to have knowledge of this material coming into this course in order to understand principles of microbiology, excessive amounts of time will not be spent reviewing this material during lecture.


The same level of preparation is also expected regarding lab time – it is your responsibility to come to lab prepared.  I will only give a brief intro or demonstration for each lab exercise; the rest of the time, it is up to you to get through the material assigned for that day.  Please read the assigned activity in the lab manual (see Course Schedule) before coming to lab and always bring your lab manual to class.  This will greatly facilitate your progression through the assigned material for that day as well as reduce the potential for errors made in lab.


Performance:  Each student is required to participate in lab exercises.  Students are responsible for their work area, and should return any material or equipment to its proper location.  Remember a clean lab area minimizes the health hazards that a student might be exposed to.  A student not actively involved in lab exercises must have valid documented justification for not participating in class exercises.  Use your lab time efficiently, especially as skills learned will be evaluated during Laboratory Practical Exams and will also be applied during work with the bacteriological unknowns.


Student E-mails:  Students are assigned an E-mail address that must be checked regularly for official Blinn communications and course information.  The address is of the form: Firstname.LastnameLast2digitsBlinnID  Information about accessing this account can be found at:


eCampus:  Access to the Internet is REQUIRED.  Internet access at home would certainly be a plus, however, all students at Blinn College and/or Texas A&M have computing resources available to them.  The Open Computer Lab at Blinn College is located in Room H-225.  If you are not familiar with these, inquire at the Learning Center in the Library Building, Room 258, for more details, ASAP.  eCampus is an online course tool.  It is in essence a virtual classroom through which I will be posting course related materials.  You will also be able to contact me with questions and or problems you might be having and have the ability to contact your classmates.  It will be your responsibility to check this site daily:




Course Evaluation Method


Class Participation


3 Lecture Exams @ 100 points each


2 Lab exams @ 100 points each


Laboratory Reports


Comprehensive Final Exam





Your final score is based on 1000 points and will be calculated by taking the sum of your earned points (your grades) as per the table below.  Do not base your course grade on expectations of curving, extra credit points, or dropped exams.




≤ 599





Letter  Grade








Grade Updates:  Periodic updates of your total points earned and grade-to-date on eCampus to help you gauge whether you are meeting your goals for the course will be provided.  However, please realize that it may take at least a week for graded exams to be returned and longer for unknown reports to be graded and returned.  Due to FERPA guidelines, I cannot discuss your grades via e-mail or phone call; any discussion of grades must be done in person during office hours or during a scheduled conference.

Blinn College Policies

Blinn College policies on civility, class attendance; scholastic integrity; students with disabilities; final grade appeals; and electronic devices as stated in the Blinn College Student Handbook, Faculty Handbook, Blinn College Catalog and specific technical program handbooks. All policies, guidelines and procedures in the Student and Faculty Handbook and the Board and Administrative Policy Manuals are applicable to this course

Civility Statement

Members of the Blinn College community, which includes faculty, staff and students, are expected to act honestly and responsibly in all aspects of campus life. Blinn College holds all members accountable for their actions and words. Therefore, all members should commit themselves to behave in a manner that recognizes personal respect and demonstrates concern for the personal dignity, rights, and freedoms of every member of the College community, including respect for College property and the physical and intellectual property of others.

      Civility Notification Statement. If a student is asked to leave the classroom because of uncivil behavior, the student may not return to that class until he or she arranges a conference with the instructor; it is the student’s responsibility to arrange for this conference. 

      This statement reflects step one in a possible four step process.  The Incivility Protocol is detailed in the Blinn College Student Handbook,

Attendance Policy

The College District believes that class attendance is essential for student success; therefore, students are required to promptly and regularly attend all their classes. A record of attendance will be maintained from the first day of classes and/or the first day the student’s name appears on the roster through final examinations. If a student has one week’s worth of unexcused absences during the semester, he or she will be sent an e-mail by the College District requiring the student to contact his or her instructor and schedule a conference immediately to discuss his/her attendance issues. Should the student accumulate two weeks’ worth of unexcused absences, he or she will be administratively withdrawn from class.

There are four forms of excused absences recognized by the institution:

  1. observance of religious holy days—The student should notify his or her instructor(s) not later than the 15th day of the semester concerning the specific date(s) that the student will be absent for any religious holy day(s);
  2. representing the College District at an official institutional function;
  3. high school dual credit students representing the independent school district at an official institutional function; and
  4. military service.

Other absences may be considered excused at the discretion of the faculty

member with appropriate documentation.  A student enrolled in a developmental course is subject to College District-mandated attendance policies. Failure to attend developmental classes shall result in removal from the course as defined by the College District.

It is the student’s responsibility to officially drop a class he or she is no longer attending.  To officially drop a class the student must obtain the class withdrawal form from Enrollment Services, complete the class withdrawal form, secure the required signatures, and return the completed form to Enrollment Services. The last day to drop with a Q is according to the Academic Calendar.

Scholastic Integrity

Blinn College does not tolerate cheating, plagiarism, or any other act of dishonesty with regard to the course in which you are enrolled.  The following text defines the faculty member’s responsibility with regard to the scholastic integrity expectation for this and all courses at Blinn College.

It is the responsibility of faculty members to maintain scholastic integrity at the College District by refusing to tolerate any form of scholastic dishonesty.  Adequate control of test materials, strict supervision during testing, and other preventive measures should be utilized, as necessary, to prevent cheating or plagiarism.  If there is compelling evidence that a student is involved in cheating or plagiarism, the instructor should assume responsibility and address the infraction.  Likewise, any student accused of scholastic dishonesty is entitled to due process as outlined in Blinn College Board Policy FLB (Local).  The Scholastic Integrity Policy is located in the Blinn College Student Handbook,  In a case of scholastic dishonesty, it is critical that written documentation be maintained at each level throughout the process.

Students with Disabilities

Blinn College is dedicated to providing the least restrictive learning environment for all students. Support services for students with documented disabilities are provided on an individual basis, upon request. Requests for services should be made directly to the Office of Special Populations serving the campus of your choice.  For the Bryan campus, the Office of Special Populations (Administration Building) can be reached at (979)209-7251.  The Brenham, Sealy and Schulenburg campuses are served by the Office of Special Populations on the Brenham campus (Administration Building Room 104) and can be reached at (979)830-4157.  Additional information can be found at

Final Grade Appeal

If a student wishes to appeal a final grade in a course, Blinn College Board Policy FLDB (Local), Course Grade Complaints, outlines the timeline for the appeal and the four steps in the appeal.  This policy is located in the Blinn College Student Handbook,

Electronic Devices

All the functions of all personal electronic devices designed for communication and/or entertainment (cell phones, pagers, beepers, iPods, and similar devices) must be turned off and kept out of sight in all College District classrooms and associated laboratories.  Any noncompliance with this policy shall be addressed in accordance with the College District civility policy (administrative policy).  This information is contained in Blinn College Board Policy FLB (Local).

Course Policies

Attendance Policy Reminder:  Missing lecture, lab or both will count as one absence.  For classes that meet twice a week during the spring semester two absences counts as one week's absence.  Students accumulating two week’s worth of absences (four unexcused absences) will be dropped.

Problem Resolution: If you have a complaint about your class, you should first request a conference with your instructor to try and resolve the problems or issues. If the problems or issues cannot be resolved at the instructor level, you should request a conference with the Division Chair, Mr. Dwight Bohlmeyer, Science 241, [email protected].

Eating and Drinking:  Eating and drinking are not allowed in classrooms or laboratories.





Lecture Topic (tentative)

Lab Topic (tentative)Lab Topic (Tentative*)



Introduction:  What are Microorganisms? (Ch 1.4)

Lab 1-2  Safety Procedures; Lab Equipment, Media


Ch 1: History of Microbiology

Lab 3 Ubiquity of Bacteria& Lab 10 Microscopy







Ch 3: Concepts & Tools for Studying   Microorganisms


Ch 4:  Cell Structure/Function

Labs 4-5 Aseptic Technique and Streak Plate



Lab 7 Colony Characteristics



Ch 5:  Microbial Growth and Nutrition

Lab 6 Quantification of Microorganisms; Complete Lab 15 as homework


Ch 6:  Metabolism of Prokaryotic Cells & Review

Labs 11-14



Lecture Exam #1:  Chapters 1, 3-5

Labs 11-14

Labs 21-22


Ch 6:  Metabolism of Prokaryotic Cells



Ch 8:  Microbial Genetics; Ch 9.1: Gene Transfer

Lab 8


Ch 7:  Chemical Control of Microorganisms

Lab 9



Ch 24:  Antimicrobial Drugs

Observations and Review Period for Lab Exam 1


Ch 20:  Innate Immunity & Review

Lab Exam #1 (Labs 1-15, 21-22)



Lecture Exam #2:  Chapters 6-8, 9.1, 20, 24 2: Chapters 6-9.1, 24

Gram Positive Unknowns handed out

Labs 16-20, 23-25


Ch 21:  Acquired Immunity and Ch 22.1: Vaccines

Work on Unknowns



Ch 19:  Infection and Disease

Work on Unknowns


Gram Positive Unknown Report due

Ch 10:  Airborne Bacterial Diseases

Differential WBC (eCampus handout)



Spring Break

Spring Break


Spring Break

Spring Break



Ch 11:  Foodborne and Waterborne Diseases  Exam 3: Chapters 10-11, 19-22.1

Gram Negative Unknowns handed out

Labs 26 - 30


Ch 12:  Soilborne and Arthropodborne Diseases

Work on Unknowns Lab Exam 2 – over Labs 20,



Lecture Exam #3:  Chapters 10-12, 19, 21, 22.1

Final Unknowns handed out

Work on Unknowns


Ch 13:  Sexually Transmitted and Contact Transmitted Bacterial Diseases

Work on Unknowns

Review for Lab Exam #2



Gram Negative Unknown Report due

Ch 14: The Viruses, Tumors,& Virus-Like Agents


Ch 15:  Viral Diseases

Lab Exam #2  (Labs 16 – 20; 23 – 30)


Work on Unknowns



Ch 16:  Viral Diseases & Ch 23.4: AIDS (pg 755-763)

Work on Unknowns


Ch 17 & pg 785-786: Pathogenic Fungi

Lab 32 Eukaryote Taxonomy and Lab 34 Fungi



Final Unknown Report due

Ch 18 & pg 786-788 – Pathogenic Protozoans

Lab 33 Vectors and Lab 35 Protozoans


Ch 18 & pg 786-788 – Pathogenic Helminths, 23

Lab 36 Helminths



Lecture Exam #4: Chapters 13-18, 23.4, pg 785-786

Review Period for Lab Exam 3


Lecture Catch-Up and Review

Lab Exam #3 (Labs 32-36) 32-36



Departmental Assessments; Lecture Catch-Up and Review – no lab


FINAL  3:15 – 5:15 pm  Rm S-210


* Schedule subject to change.  In case of course schedule changes, updates will be notified in class.


Q Last day to withdraw with a “Q” is Friday, April 12th by 5:00 pm, in person at the Office of Enrollment Services.