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Biological Sciences 371: Microbial Diversity (Lab).
Judith Wopereis. Spring 2010, 2012, 2013.

This lab course exposes students to the beauty and diversity of microbial eukaryotes using a variety of techniques in the fields of microbiology and molecular biology. Emphasis is on completion of an independent project.

Students learn techniques for collecting, culturing, identifying, analyzing, and photographing microbes. Samples are taken from the rich and diverse microbial life associated with different plants and environmental gradients in the Lyman Conservatory. For example, students may collect microbial eukaryotes from environments associated with plants such as the “tanks” of pitcher plants, the moist stems of bromeliads, or the surfaces of roots or leaves.

Supplemental course funds will be used to mount a small exhibit of student photographs in the Lyman Plant House. Accompanying text will describe the organisms: species, morphology, trapping methods and sampling locations in the Lyman Conservatory.

The image above is of a flagellate that lives in the plant house ponds. It is a photosynthetic organism (an alga) that belongs to the major group Stramenopile. Other stramenopiles include kelp and diatoms. The image was created by a student using Smith's scanning electron microscope.

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Northampton MA 01063

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Last updated on Wednesday, September 24, 2008.