Course code BIO332

BIO332 Experimental Molecular Microbiology

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Showing course contents for the educational year starting in 2019 .

Course responsible: Morten Kjos
Teachers: Daniel Straume, Inga Leena Angell, Pawel Michal Lycus, Ine Storaker Myrbråten, Linda Liberg Bergaust, Else Marie Aasen, Leiv Sigve Håvarstein, Zhian Salehian, Rannei Tjåland, Knut Rudi
ECTS credits: 10
Faculty: Faculty of Chemistry, Biotechnology and Food Science
Teaching language: EN, NO
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Limits of class size:
Teaching exam periods:
This course starts in January block. This course has teaching/evaluation in January block + teaching/evaluation in Spring parallel.
Course frequency: Annually
First time: 2009V
Preferential right:

The course is compulsory for students who are admitted to the master´s programmes

  • MSc in Biotechnology, specialisation microbiology
  • MSc in Technology, specialisation chemistry and bioteknologi, sub-specialisation molecular biology
Course contents:

This is an intensive laboratory course over three weeks in January. A few lectures/seminars will be given in the January block, the rest will be given during the spring term. A total of 18 lectures will be given. In addition, a number of scientific primary articles relevant for the experimental work will be discussed in seminars during the first part of the spring semester. The students write a report from the laboratory exercises, in which relevant scientific literature is referred. The laboratory exercises cover methods used for:

  • measurement of gene expression and biological diversity in various ecosystems
  • characterisation and identification of bacteria
  • horizontal gene transfer
  • genetic regulation
  • genome sequencing
  • interpretation of results and discussions on the various methods

Students write an individual, final report.

Learning outcome:


The course relates to current major research topics in modern microbiology and provides "state-of the art"- knowledge within three important areas: Genetic regulation of anaerobic respiration and consequences for greenhouse gas emissions; horizontal gene transfer and its importance for spread of antibiotic resistance; and relationships between gut microflora and health.  


The students will become familiar with techniques used in microbiological research, with emphasis on molecular methods. Students will become aware of the contexts in which the different methods are used, and the strong and weak points of the various methods will be discussed. The laboratory exercises consist of smaller research projects, which will be summarized in an individual, written report. This provides skills in planning and performing research tasks; data analysis and interpretation and presentation of results; and experience in collecting relevant literature to be able to view the results in a larger context. Regular seminars are undertaken, where students obtain training in summarizing and discussing selected scientific texts.

General competence

The course prepares the students for carrying out a thesis work on master´s level and is also useful for early-phase PhD students. They learn to collaborate in groups and to carry out individual research tasks including scientific writing and data analysis The students will learn and obtain experience with how to prepare and deliver effective oral and written presentations, to think critically and solve complex and multidisciplinary problems, and to accurately interpret current research literature.

Learning activities:

Laboratory exercises. Seminars. 

The seminars are based on articles describing relevant scientific findings or methods. The students actively participate in discussions during these seminars. The main focus of the course is on learning methods used to elucidate modern microbiological questions. Special lectures are given in connection with the laboratory exercises.

Teaching support:
The teachers are present during the entire course period and can also be reached via e-mail. Canvas.
Selected scientific articles will be discussed during the seminar series. Scientific articles are used in an extensive report from the laboratory exercises and are also curriculum for the oral examination.
Biochemistry equivalent to KJB200General microbiology equivalent to BIO230Molecular biology equivalent to BIO210
Recommended prerequisites:
The laboratory courses BIO233 and BIO211 (or equivalent).
Mandatory activity:
Lectures, seminars and laboratory exercises.
Written report of experimental research task, counts 50% of the grade. Oral exam where the curriculum will be the topics from the lab course and selected scientific papers on relevant topics, Counts 50% of the grade. External examiner both for report and oral exam.
Nominal workload:
Laboratory work: 120 hrs. Seminars/lectures: 18 hrs. Self study and writing of laboratory repport: 162 hrs.
Entrance requirements:
Special requirements in Science
Type of course:

January block: three weeks (120 hrs) laboratory course, with some lectures.

Spring parallel: 2 seminars /lectures per week (2x2h) in the first half of the parallel, will be announced on Canvas.

Submission of written report: week 9. Oral exam: week 13, 14 or 15, depending on when it is Easter week.

If there is a large number of students a written examination will be considered.

External examiner of the report on independent assignment.

External examiner evaluate the oral exam.

Allowed examination aids: A1 No calculator, no other aids
Examination details: Continuous exam: A - E / Ikke bestått