Department of Biological Sciences

Western Michigan University


BIOS 3120 : Microbiology : Summer : 0000




All electronic devices resulting in audible signals (including cell phones) must be turned off during lectures and laboratories



Professor:                          Karim Essani, Ph.D.


Telephone:                         387-2661 (Laboratory),  387-5636 (Office)

Office Hours:                    2:00 – 3:00 pm, Mondays and Tuesdays, 2007 Haenicke Hall


Teaching Assistants:       Gavin Gibson and Kate McGovren


Text:                                    Biology of Microorganisms, 9th. Edition, 2000, Madigan et al., Prentice-Hall


Laboratory Manual:        Obtain a Materials Fee Card at the Student Center Book Store and exchange it for a BIOS 3120 Microbiology Laboratory Manual from your Laboratory Instructor.


Special Assigned Reading:           Microbe Hunters, by Paul DeKruif.               Questions from this book will be on the final exam. This novel is an authoritative account of the history of microbiology, an American literature classic and fun to read.    


Objectives and Scope:     This is an introductory course in Microbiology for upper division undergraduates with a background in genetics, cell biology and organic chemistry. The overall objectives are to acquaint students with fundamental principles of microbiology and common microbiology laboratory techniques with an emphasis on bacteriology. Lectures will identify unifying microbiology concepts with an emphasis on physiological, molecular, genetic, taxonomic and ecological aspects of prokaryotic cells. Basic concepts in virology and immunology will also be covered at introductory level. Laboratory exercises will emphasize procedures involved in isolating, cloning and characterizing bacteria. Some simple applications of mycology, virology and immunology will also be included in the laboratory.


Exams, Reports and Scoring:       A total of 100 points are possible for the course. This is a 5 credit hour course with 3 credits for lecture and 2 credit for laboratory. Thus, 60% of the grade comes from lecture and 40% from laboratory. There are 8 distinct scoring opportunities as follows:


                              First lecture Exam                                            12 points

                              Second Lecture Exam                                      12 points

                              Third Lecture Exam                                         12 points

                              Laboratory Mid-Term Exam                           8 points

                              First Laboratory report                                    12 points

                              Second Laboratory Report                              12 points

                              Final Laboratory Exam                                    8 points

                              Final Comprehensive Lecture Exam              24 points


The final comprehensive exam will be constructed as follows: 12 points from material covered for previous lecture exams and 12 points from lectures since third exam. Questions from suggested readings for each lecture will be included in all exams. However, questions from Microbe Hunters will only be included in the final exam as part of material covered during previous lectures. The final laboratory exam will include only material covered in laboratory after the laboratory mid-term exam.


Course Grades: The total numerical grade is obtained by summing all scoring opportunities. Final letter grade will be translated as follows:         >90 = A,  >85-90 = BA,  >79-85 = B,  >73-79 =  CB,  >67-73 = C,

>61-67 = DC, >55-61 = D and <55 = E. The abuse of laboratory equipment and materials will have a negative influence on the final letter grade assigned. 


Note: This course is, for many students, similar in difficulty to organic chemistry. Thus, do not panic at one or two low lecture grades. The average class laboratory exam grades are, for most students, always higher than average class lecture exam grades.


Make-up Exams: Any make-up exam will be by special arrangement only and will require written documentation for an excused absence. Exams are to be made-up immediately after return to class and only approved excused absences are eligible for an essay make-up exam.


Disputed Grades: Any dispute in the final letter grade must be resolved within first week after the final grades are assigned, without any exceptions.


Academic Honesty:  Academic ethical standards regarding cheating, fabrication, plagiarism, facilitating academic dishonesty and consequences of these actions are all described in the WMU Undergraduate Catalog. It is IMPORTANT to familiarize yourself with the written definitions described in the catalog. Reading these university regulations is strongly recommended. Any student who violates these standards of academic honesty will receive a failing grade in this course.


Students are required to provide their student identification card on request by a faculty member or a teaching assistant. Thus, all students must have their student ID available when exams, reports or other reasons may require a faculty member or teaching assistant to ask for a student’s official ID card.




Summer 0000

Lecture Schedule

Room 2722, Wood Hall

Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 10:00 – 11:50 AM


Lecture #



Introduction to Microbiology


Cell Biology of Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Microorganisms


Bacterial Nutrition and Cultivation


Bacterial Growth


Viruses I


First Lecture Exam


Viruses II


Bacterial Genetics at Molecular Level




Major Groups of Bacteria and Energy Relationships




Metabolic Regulatory Mechanisms


Second Exam


Enteric and Other Gram Negative Bacteria


Gram Positive Bacteria and Bacterial Spores [Gavin Gibson]




Third Exam


Immunology I


Immunology II and AIDS


Anti-microbial Chemotherapy


Final Exam