Fall 2019 - MBB 839 G100

Special Topics in Molecular Biology (3)

Microbial Physiology

Class Number: 1944

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    We 10:30 AM – 12:20 PM
    SSCC 9000, Burnaby

    Fr 10:30 AM – 12:20 PM
    Location: TBA



Consideration of recent literature concerning selected contemporary research topics. Can be taken more than once with permission of instructor.


Focusing on nine very different bacterial species, this course explores how bacteria detect changes in their external and internal environments, and how they control gene expression to adjust their physiology and behaviour in response;  the partitioning of bacterial cells in time and space that accompanies structural and functional differentiation; the importance of phenotypic variability within populations of genetically identical bacteria, and the mechanisms underlying it; the diversity of bacterial lifestyles in the wild, including their ability to interact cooperatively or antagonistically with their own and other species.

Topics include:

*  Control of gene expression
*  Global responses to stress
*  Signal transduction
*  Intercellular communication
*  Motility
*  Multicellularity
*  Circadian rhythm
*  Subcellular organization
*  Population-level variability
*  Sociomicrobiology


  • In-class test # 1 10%
  • In-class test # 2 15%
  • In-class test # 3 20%
  • Project 55%



A draft textbook, prepared specifically for this course, will be provided on-line.

Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: http://www.sfu.ca/dean-gradstudies/current/important_dates/guidelines.html. The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html