Bacteriology 102: List of Topics

A list of topics arranged as a study guide is found here.

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  • Basic pure culture procedures including transfer techniques and streak plates.
  • Culturing environmental samples (air-exposure plates and simple swabbing).
  • Simple and differential staining procedures including gram, capsule, acid-fast and endospore stains.
  • Gaining proficiency with the microscope.
  • Quantitative Microbiology I:  The plate count method.
  • Microbial count of hamburger – "total" and gram-negative.
  • Introduction to nutritional requirements and bacteriological media.
  • Requirements of certain bacteria for growth factors.
  • Alteration of bacterial characteristics due to changes in the environment.
  • Basic Catabolism I:  Aerobic respiration and fermentation and their role in the test for "oxygen relationship" as per the Bergey's Manual definitions; correlation of oxygen relationship designations with related physiological processes in bacteria.
  • A study of the bacterial growth curve with determination of the growth rate of a culture of Escherichia coli.
  • Microscopic and cultural methods for the determination of bacterial motility.
  • Basic Catabolism II:  Anaerobic respiration as demonstrated by the test for nitrate reduction.
  • Characterization, Differentiation and Identification of Bacteria:  Comparative morphology and physiology of selected species and a consideration of base sequencing and phylogenetic trees.
  • Detection and isolation of mutants and recombinants.
  • Quantitation of bacteriophages.
  • Use of bacteriophages to assist bacterial identification.
  • Determination of susceptibility of bacteria to various antibiotics.
  • Principles of enrichment and isolation of bacteria from natural sources.
  • Consideration of microbial cycling of elements – particularly N, C, S and O.
  • Isolation of antibiotic-producing, endospore-forming and nitrogen-fixing bacteria from soil.
  • Isolation of purple non-sulfur photosynthetic bacteria from water samples.
  • Basic Catabolism III:  Anoxygenic phototrophy with a comparison to oxygenic phototrophy. (Included here is a test to confirm anoxygenic phototrophy which will distinguish it from the two other catabolic processes associated with anaerobic growth treated above – i.e., fermentation and anaerobic respiration.)
  • How to write a formal lab report.
  • Examination of lactic acid bacteria including those involved in yogurt and sauerkraut fermentation.
  • Brief study of Staphylococcus, Streptococcus and Neisseria including their isolation and the tests for hemolysis, coagulase and oxidase.
  • Isolation and identification of enteric bacteria including the use of serology in the identification of Salmonella. (Clinical procedures are emphasized along with the use of correct and current taxonomic terminology.)
  • Basic principles concerning pH-based differential media and the formulation of such media to distinguish certain physiological types of bacteria.
  • Quantitative Microbiology II:  The Most Probable Number (MPN) method.
  • Bacteriological examination of water:  Quantitation of "total" bacteria; enrichment, detection, isolation and identification of coliforms.

The following outline of concepts is considerably more general than the list above. These categories are not mutually-exclusive; we see how they overlap considerably as we progress through the semester. How we consider bacteriophages is included in several places, and one should hope that proper use of terminology would be a "given."

  1. Basic Pure Culture Procedures

  2. Nutrition/Metabolism/Physiology:
    1. Nutritional requirements
    2. Catabolism (methods of energy generation, oxygen relationships) and anabolism
    3. Cycles of elements
    4. Media formulation for microbial isolation and identification: theory and application

  3. Description/Differentiation/Identification:
    1. Phenotypic:
      1. Traditional tests and observations: morphological (staining and microscopy), cultural, and physiological
      2. Typing: serotyping, phage-typing
    2. Genotypic: base-sequencing (discussion only)
    3. Construction and use of keys (tables, dichotomous keys) and phylogenetic trees
    4. Alteration of phenotypic characteristics by mutation and recombination

  4. Detection/Enrichment/Isolation:
    1. Traditional methods of enrichment and isolation: general principles, specific examples
    2. Genotypic detection: use of genetic probes (discussion only)

  5. Quantitation:
    1. Dilution-plating
    2. The most-probable-number (MPN) method

  6. Applied Microbiology:
    1. Food: production of fermented food products, transmission of pathogens, microbial spoilage
    2. Water: detection and isolation of coliforms, assessing overall contamination
    3. Antibiotics: production by microorganisms

  7. Medical Microbiology:
    1. Diagnosis
    2. Treatment (use of antibiotics)
    3. Prevention (discussion only)

  The Home Page of this "retired"
    Bacteriology 102 Web Site.
  Index of the General Bacteriology Pages.

Page last modified March, 2020.

John Lindquist, Department of Bacteriology

University of Wisconsin – Madison