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Microbiology Logo Microbiology & Immunology
Te Tari Moromoroiti me te Ārai Mate

MICR 461: Molecular Microbiology

First Semester - 20 points

Course overview

bacteriaMICR 461 is a tutorial-based paper that examines cutting-edge topics in molecular microbiology in depth. The paper consists of four modules, with each module comprised of three tutorials. In the first tutorial an overview of the topic is considered. In the other tutorials the students take the major role, e.g. presentation of papers pertinent to the topic, etc. Tutorials will cover the following topics:

Module 1: Molecular mechanisms of bacterial pathogenesis

Associate Professor Keith Ireton

We will critically analyse primary research papers dealing with molecular mechanisms of virulence of several key bacterial pathogens, such as Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella spp., Yersinia spp., and Shigella flexneri.

Module 2: CRISPR-Cas: adaptive immunity in bacteria 

Associate Professor Peter Fineran

We will examine the CRISPR-Cas (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats-CRISPR associated) systems. These systems are widespread in bacteria and archaea and provide a small RNA-based resistance mechanism against foreign genetic elements.

Module 3: Whole-genome sequencing of bacterial pathogens 

Professor Greg Cook and Dr Htin Aung

Whole genome sequencing (WGS) is an important technique to investigate the epidemiology and evolution of bacterial pathogens. One of the first bacterial pathogens subjected to WGS was Mycobacterium tuberculosis and in this module we will discuss the application of this technology in understanding the evolutionary history and global spread of M. tuberculosis.

Module 4: Structure and function of bacterial type IV secretion systems: biological warfare and more?

Professor Clive Ronson

The recently discovered Type VI secretion systems deliver protein effectors into eukaryotic and prokaryotic target cells. We will look at aspects of the structure of the systems and the functions of the effector proteins.

Assessment

  1. A 30-minute oral exam (25%)
  2. A 3-hour final exam (75%)

Timetable

Classes will be held at 9am in Room 208 on the days indicated.

Module 1: February 27; March 6 and 13

Module 2: March 20 and 27; April 2 (Thursday)

Module 3: April 17 and 24; May 1

Module 4: May 8 and 15

Teaching staff

For more information

View the details of this paper on the University of Otago website

Students are encouraged to contact staff by email to make arrangements for a time to discuss course-related matters.

For more information on this course, please contact Professor Greg Cook.